While I was at Christopher Lydon’s session at UMass, my sometime editor Tom Stites was down the hall, delivering this speech. Tom sent me the Word file, and I was going to ask him whether I could post it — but then Dan Gillmor beat me to it. (And Adam and John beat me in linking to it.)
Stites’ speech is about a topic that’s important not just for journalism, but for democracy: the newspaper industry’s advertiser-driven abandonment of all but the most affluent readers. Tom’s attitude toward his former newspaper colleagues is more sorrow than anger — after all, he observes, how can it be otherwise when Wal-Mart, where poor people actually shop, doesn’t buy newspaper ads, whereas businesses that cater to upscale readers do?
This is a long piece, and I can’t adequately summarize it. So do yourself a favor and read the whole thing.