“The Only Game in Town”

Thursday, August 23, 2012

David Sirota, contributing writer for Harper’s, talks about his article “The Only Game in Town.” He argues that after so many newspapers have gone out of business, the lack of competition means the newspapers left in some markets to have unprecedented influence—but they're not chasing scoops in the same way, they're cutting back on investigative journalism and legal vetting, and they end up supporting the business agenda of their owners. “The Only Game in Town” appears in the September issue of Harper’s magazine.


David Sirota

Comments [7]

carl from queens n.y.

take all autobiographies and all memoirs with a grain of salt, and double down that grain of salt, on all our newspapers in our u.s.of a.... we stand a better shot with bbc and al-j...

Aug. 23 2012 12:53 PM
Krista Madsen

Seems like this discussion is missing the point of where media is heading (and is already). I am the editor of my local Patch site ( which covers absolutely everything going on in my town, from police news to government to profiles, events, biz listings, it's limitless. There are 850+ such sites well-serving communities throughout the country.

Aug. 23 2012 12:48 PM
NJ via NOLA from NJ

Good point, John from NYC.
And now the New Orleans Times-Picayune is being cut to 3 days a week, in spite of very healthy circulation and vigorous local engagement.

Aug. 23 2012 12:42 PM
Pat from Red Hook, Brooklyn

Rupert Murdoch's News Corp has bought the local Brooklyn Paper franchise. Not a good development for the Borough.

Aug. 23 2012 12:37 PM
John from NYC

A local example of this topic is the Staten Island Advance newspaper which is owned by Advance Publications. I can't think of any investigative reporting in years. I wonder what other markets which this company has the only publication in town. I believe one city is New Orleans and the Times-Picayune.

Aug. 23 2012 12:28 PM
rodney k

Perfect example....long island new york...charles doland ownes cablevision a local catv provider and he owns newsday a local news paper.....he will not allow advertisement for fios tv. And he is allways fast to blast cell towers but never writes about his wifi network

Aug. 23 2012 12:21 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

Newspapers have been soapboxes for many wealthy owners over the last two centuries, so that's nothing new. What is new is the virtually free mass media and particularly the internet that allows all points of view on the "news" to be voiced from every point of view and from every point on earth. I haven't bought a physical newspaper in years now, and do not feel deprived in any way, except maybe for the comics :)
On the internet I watch many news sources from many countries, including BBC, Deutsche Welle, Iran's PRESS TV. Israel's IBA, Al Jazeera, et al. and so I can get the take on any news story from many points of view. It may more confusing, but it is also more thought-provoking.

Aug. 23 2012 12:15 PM

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