A newsless "newsstand" in Manhattan.

EDITORIAL: Presses Stopped

A few weeks ago the Boston Globe announced that it was expanding its news coverage in New Hampshire. Granted, there are more than a few Bostonians living in the Granite State but news from Boston itself was not the point of the expansion. Simply put, large swathes of New Hampshire are lately what is dubbed a news desert. And the same applies to large areas of the United States. 

The U.S. has lost more than 2,000 newspapers so far this century. Two titles go under every week, give or take. The deceased papers, dailies and weeklies, are mostly of the local news variety. Some hang on with one or two journalists covering large geographic areas and multitudinous issues. 

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Some papers have rescuers. But often they are wolves in sheep's clothing, vulture funds that are more interested in the cash value of buildings and industrial plant rather than the work that goes on in those buildings and is disseminated by said plant and machinery.

The work of journalists has also become more difficult, and that is not only confined to the matter of finances. Lives are being lost all too frequently in a number of countries. Mexico is a country where the job of being a journalist brings with it more than just occasional or marginal risk.

Some newspapers have taken to asking online subscribers for financial contributions when it comes to keeping the presses rolling, and the online sites filled.

Against this grim backdrop we had the, (ironically) media frenzy over Tucker Carlson and Don Lemon losing their TV jobs.

The salaries of these two men, Carslon in particular, would probably keep a number of small local newspapers in the profit column for the rest of the century.

Small, by the by, does not mean unimportant.

Meanwhile, take a walk through Manhattan and take note of the "newsstands." What a joke. Most of them, at the very most, might be selling the city's main dailies and nothing beyond them. All too many of these metal monoliths confine themselves to candy, chewing gum and lottery tickets.

In New York City the very idea of a newsstand has gone the way of, well, the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Fair enough, times change and times move on. But with regard to the demise of so many news titles, actual keeping up with changing times is often the responsibility of small publications in parts of America where the seemingly smallest details of daily life really count for folks.

How many of those seemingly small details now go unreported, never see the light of day, are never known, analyzed or better understood?

The answer is countless.