July 1, 2012

Classified ads the backbone of Democracy

This post has been a long time coming. Its intent is to convey an idea. The idea is that we need investigative journalism to have a productive government. The problem is that we've lost the funding for investigative journalism with the demise of "print media". If you take that a step further you can blame craig's list.

Jeff Atwood had an interesting look on this in 2009 reflecting on a SF Weekly spot. There's a chance they weren't 100% impartial on the issue.

Almost by accident, Newmark built one of the Internet's most successful sites, creating a free marketplace for millions that continues to grow around the country and the world. Among the unintended consequences of Craigslist's growth, though, is that it's sucking away significant dollars in classified advertisements from already-struggling newspapers. Bay Area papers alone forfeit at least $50 million annually to Craigslist, losses that contribute to layoffs of dozens of reporters. As fearful publishers cut newsroom jobs, inferior news coverage is the likely outcome. Craigslist's devoted fans are unknowingly exchanging one public service for another -- trading away the quality of their news for a cheaper way to find an apartment. At the same time, Craigslist's executives won't disclose the amount of money they're pulling in.

The podcast raises some good points. Mainly if Craig's List is going to kill newspapers why don't they do something about journalism?

I did find some people who might be doing something. I'm not sure if it's the right answer. I'd rather see a sustainable business model.

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