Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Waukesha Freeman to cease publishing on Mondays

The news was announced today that the Waukesha Freeman will be available as an online edition only on Mondays.

Let me quickly say that I am not on the staff. I write a column that they purchase. For how much is none of your business. After they purchase it, they own it. Sometimes they run it in other newspapers. If they decide they don't want my column anymore then they can run something else and I'm just out of luck.

I don't have any special insight into the newsroom. I have this vision in my head of Bill Yorth yelling, "Duffy! Run a photo of Wigderson on page one. Only not too big."

I'd offer some great insight into the future of newspapers, but I have yet to find any plausible future for newspapers. I assume that they will all be published online someday. Perhaps they'll be in alignment with other media outlets.

But maybe our entire concept of media, especially mass media, is about to be completely overturned.

After all, radio stations have less people working for them everyday, too. They're struggling for ad revenue. They're suffering from competition with the internet and iPods.

Television is also in decline, and more programming is migrating to the internet as well.

What I do know is that it would be a disaster to allow the government to attempt to shore up any of these industries. Government would surely dictate the content as readily as it imposes regulations on the nutrition labels on my ice cream. Unfortunately the government already does too much already in governing media outlets, and we see the effects every day.

If the choice is between a temporary information vacuum and being told what to think, I'll choose the vacuum. Eventually, something worthy will fill it.