Goodbye to the Age of Newspapers (Hello to a New Era of Corruption) is the title of an essay by Paul Starr in The New Republic (America's most consistently intelligent politicalÂ magazine and a must-read for anyone determined to understand life inside the Washington DCÂ beltway). I urge everyone to read it. It is depressing, but erudite and utterly right. A new democratic deficit looms. We journalistsÂ must urgently find a way to fill it.
Students will remember George Steer, the Times correspondent who revealed the bombing of Guernica, from my lectures and seminars about the Spanish Civil War. I know Sarah has introduced you to otherÂ examples of his writing. In the Times this morning there is freshÂ confirmation of the efforts FrancoÂ made to deny the truthÂ of Steer's report.Â
For anyone who would like to write another essay - or make another audio package (and possibly win Â£500) what about entering this student journalism prize sponsored byÂ UNESCO on the topic of press freedom?
Not the most uplifting thing to post on a journalism education site, but this video chronicling the death of a US newspaper after a century and a half is certainly a sign of the times. It's way too long, and a little self-indulgent, but under the circumstances you can't blame its creators, whose first instinct was to report their own demise. Watch the first couple of minutes and then skip to about 16 mins, when the final coup de grace is delivered. I've been in that situation. It's bloody horrible.
I've posted web versions of the 30-minute radioÂ news programmes produced by two undergraduate teams yesterday. We'll have a full de-briefing session on Monday, but try to listen to them over the weekend to remind yourselves of your moments of glory. And infamy.