April 21st, 2009
09:00 AM ET
9 years ago

Kerry to hold hearing on the future of journalism

Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts announced Monday that he will chair a subcommittee hearing on the future of journalism.

Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts announced Monday that he will chair a subcommittee hearing on the future of journalism.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – A prominent Democrat is joining the fray as many of the nation's newspapers slash staffs, file for bankruptcy, end their print editions, or cease publishing altogether.

Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts announced Monday that he will chair a subcommittee hearing on the future of journalism.

"An independent news media is vital to our democracy," Kerry, the chairman of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet, said in a statement Monday evening. "The history of our Republic is inextricably linked to the narrative of our free and independent press, yet today, America's newspapers are struggling just to stay afloat. I called this hearing to directly address a problem that for too long has had us turning the other way. Whatever the model for the future, we must do all we can to ensure a diverse and independent news media endures."

The hearing is set for May 6. It is the subcommittee's first hearing since Kerry became the chair. It "will address the economic recession's impact on media," the statement said.

Filed under: John Kerry
soundoff (147 Responses)
  1. Enlightened Voter

    We need independent news sources so we are not just subjected to the lies of Faux News.

    April 21, 2009 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  2. Paul from Phoenix

    Newspapers are struggling because the internet and television have become more efficient. Losing newspapers isn't a threat to independent journalism, it is progress towards a better news medium. Newspaper news is old news.

    April 21, 2009 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  3. Julie Borders

    Interesting piece, glad that the Feds will be studying the demise of traditional media. I trust that the evolution of online media will be a major topic inthis discussion; it's this industry disruptive technological leap.

    I see this movement as the ultimate DEMOCRATIZATION of media, w/anyone w/voice able to express themselves and gain a following, w/o being tethered or bound by financially & politically powerful, entrenched organizations! Vive La Social Media!!

    April 21, 2009 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  4. Andy J, Upstate NY


    And the media is going to go full steam ahead and not give the government a pass... especially after the government pumps them full of money to keep them afloat.


    its not the government's job to save the newspapers, or any other business. what is going on... i no longer know my own country.

    April 21, 2009 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  5. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Sorry to tell it to you Sen. Kerry, but the newspaper days are gone. We live in a new age where all the news we need to find is online. The only relevant papers are the Wall St. Journal, The Daily News and the Washington Post. Sooner or later, those new papers will be irrelevant.

    April 21, 2009 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  6. Jerry

    Unless the media stops promoting political agendas and taking sides (instead of REPORTING), it has no future.

    April 21, 2009 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  7. RR

    and this will accomplish what? What a waste of time. Let the market determine what media succeeds and what fails.

    April 21, 2009 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  8. Obamalism

    And it begins... here lays the path to govt run news. Not that most isn't already, this will just be more official.

    April 21, 2009 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  9. Sam Sixpack

    Simple solution: fund the news with stimulus money. Then us worker-bees won't waste so much time worrying about facts.

    April 21, 2009 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  10. Lee

    The main stream "news" media deserves bankruptcy! They are totally bought and paid for by the left clowns. Let them eat cake. John Kerry needs to get a brain.

    April 21, 2009 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  11. Ralph

    Maybe if the "news"papers start printing news stories instead of propaganda, people might be more inclined to purchase them. People are tired of hack journalism, and media personalities who seem more concerned with making the news instead of reporting the facts.

    April 21, 2009 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  12. lynn in NM

    There's only one problem. The media isn't independent, and they certainly don't report the news. They try to manipulate the news. Maybe that's why everyone is so disgusted with them.

    April 21, 2009 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  13. blaster

    Is this guy kidding? "An independent media"???? We haven't had one of those for years. The media is so shamelessly liberal it's not even funny. People have voted with their wallets and simply refuse to buy the garbage these businesses have been producing. Maybe Chris Matthews will attend the hearing so he can get another chill up his leg. What a joke.

    April 21, 2009 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  14. Stop the Presses

    "America's newspapers are struggling just to stay afloat" – Kerry

    So maybe what America's newspapers need is an infusion of Government cash to keep them going, then Obama can control the banks and the media. That's not too much to ask, is it?

    April 21, 2009 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  15. Michael in Houston

    Senator Kerry, just like the 8 track was replaced by the tape deck, which was replaced by the CD player, things run thier course. The Newspaper industry is not exempt from that. When you have sites like CNN who give you the news for free, when you have sites that give your real times noews, not things that happened yesterday, when you have media outlets that give you real time news 24/7 on television, internet on your phones etc.......well who is going to spend $1.00 to $3.00 in some places to read something that they can pull out thier laptop or thier phone to read. I know you are old Senator Kerry and probably nostalgic, the day of newspapers are over. There will be some who like to get thier news the "the old fashion way" but most of will use the internet. I think the real issue is, is that you can no longer control the media outlets due to the internet.

    April 21, 2009 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  16. Derek

    The reason the newspapers are going under is because people stopped buying them. Nothing more than that. Case in point: I'm on CNN.com and not reading a newspaper. Why are they having a meeting on this? Are they going to have a bailout of newspapers now?

    April 21, 2009 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  17. Kpawlak

    Who cares. They are all a bunch of rags.

    April 21, 2009 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  18. Libertarian

    Hey Kerry....the future of the press is called the Internet. You don't need to waste taxpayer dollars figuring that out. Congress needs to stay out of this one. The newspaper PRINT business is dead....move on.

    April 21, 2009 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  19. You've Got to Be Kidding

    "An Independent News Media" ? Did he read/watch the coverage in the run-up to the Iraq war? Did he read/watch the coverage of the last election? "Diverse" and "independent" hasn't existed in a long, long time–What a Joke!

    April 21, 2009 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  20. MaryJo Bruce Surprise, Ariz

    The problem with journalism is that they do not play both sides and people are tired of it. People want to hear it all. Like our local newspaper. They are so liberal, that when an Illegal kills a cop they put in a 4 line info on it on page 99. But an illegal who wants us to pay for their Illegal kid to be taught english and gets a lawyer to sue someone gets top billing on the front page. Just stuff like that goes on and on all the time. A columnist will write their single views on something. But, journalist need to show both sides..

    April 21, 2009 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  21. David

    What is he going to do? Bail them out so that the 'press' can continue to print favorable stories about Barry?

    April 21, 2009 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  22. Mando

    Paper media is very wasteful. The amount of tree and paper used for newspapers and magazines is astounding. Just transitioning over to electronic media will be the largest and greenest move the world has ever seen by an Industry. And it's wonderful that this is happening naturally due to customer preference, not any over arching government mandate.

    April 21, 2009 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  23. Sniffit

    AKA....All the liberal print media is going under and we need to bail them out to keep spewing the bs liberal talking points.

    April 21, 2009 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  24. Expat American

    hmmmmmmmmm......I've got a Ketchup fortune and a full head of hair....exceeelent.

    An independent news media is vital to the Democracy of the United States. Sadly, some the biggest names are not very independent (Fox, CNN, Huffington etc...). One can find oneself having to cross reference global news sources to flesh out truths from the 'American political party media'...why is that? Fox news won’t acknowledge any faults by the Bush Administration and CNN spends a lot of time of fluffy fluffy.

    April 21, 2009 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  25. Matt in MN

    This hearing going to lead to discussions of bailing out the printed press and media?

    Wall street got it's bailout for making bad business decisions.
    Detroit got a semi-bailout for making bad business decisions.
    So it's only logical that we give the printed press a bailout for their bad business decisions and inability to adapt to a changing information environment.

    April 21, 2009 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
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