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. Liberal and Proud of It dot com

    American journalism's biggest enemy is America's colleges of business. News sources are controlled by men and women with degrees in management and accounting, not journalism. Their goal is advertising sales. They prefer scandal to information, because people like scandals. Informative pieces and background pieces are expensive to produce and harder to sell.

    So, the media is covering personality disputes rather than issues. The media wants to provide publicity for other corporations owned by the corporate conglomerate that they belong to. The media does not want to cover the corporate hanky-panky of their sponsors.

    April 21, 2009 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  2. JJ in NY

    Of course ! ! !
    A liberal democrat wanting to prop up the dominant liberal media. It's understandable why the liberal left wouldn't want to lose it's shills .

    April 21, 2009 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  3. Gary

    Journalism has 2 key problems:

    1. Bias – the advent of FOX news has highlighted the bias in media. As it becomes obvious of their conservative bias, seeing both sides of a story has demonstrated clearly the liberal bias on the other channels. More and more it becomes so obvious who the journalist is supporting. Roland Martin is in the tank for Obama, doesn't matter what Obama does. CNN clearly protrayed Obama in a better light than Hillary Clinton in the primary. This bias hurts the credibility of all of the news agencies.

    2. The internet gives us quick news, more views, less bias and free news. It's going to be hard to compete with the internet.

    April 21, 2009 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  4. Some Guy

    See, herein lies the problem, we live in a niche society now. We can all choose the sources of information that are slanted towards our own views be they liberal or conservative. My wife and I call it newsertainment. We can listen to the satellite radio station that only plays the type of music we like. We can live in a neighborhood where everyone is in the same socioeconomic class as us. We can totally avoid exposure to ideas that are different from our own. Thus we become more insular and opinionated and convinced that we are "right" and they are "wrong". Hence all of the strongly voiced opinions on this blog. Y'all need to step away from the computer, turn off the tv and get out of the house more often, sort of step outside your little ideological bubbles. Don't believe anything the media tells you. It is all slanted. Have a nice day!

    April 21, 2009 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  5. Freed_From_W

    "..to ensure a diverse and independent news media endures."

    Letting Rupert Murdoch own 60% of all news organizations is clearly diverse and independent.

    April 21, 2009 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  6. Alfred E. Neumann

    And isn't this the best example of the 'Peter Principle' – John Kerry holding a Senate meeting.

    Just what is an independent news media?

    Fox News is slanted to the right.
    MSNBC is slanted to the left.
    CNN is slanted to the left.

    Better to define an independent viewer as one who watches all three.

    Can you just see a hearing on an independent viewer – not many of them around except for you and me.

    April 21, 2009 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  7. Dave

    Diverse and independent? The media single handedly got Obama elected and still refuses to criticize. Give me a break....is this Kerry's way of saying a bailout should be given to the media? Go AWAY Kerry! You and your billionaire wife.

    April 21, 2009 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  8. Joe

    John Kerry needs to take a long walk off of a short plank. People might be a little more concerned if the US Media wasn't so corrupt already. Without the media Obama doesn't even come close to being elected President. Without the media we get the public support to do whats needed in Iraq and that war is over several years ago. Instead we are still there, and we have a Islamic president claiming to be christian who has less experience in politics than my cat.

    April 21, 2009 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  9. Bob in Pa

    He's more concerned with the propoganda machine of the Democratic party !

    April 21, 2009 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  10. Carey Judas

    Oh goodness! Now the feds are going to bail out newspapers who can't sell their opinion pages?

    April 21, 2009 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  11. Mark

    When a paper if left wing liberal in a moderate society I don't get why there is a question of their financial security.

    April 21, 2009 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  12. dan

    Who wants to buy liberal papers when they use them only to just push their agendas. Besides, you go green people should love the fact that we'll save some trees. My only hope is that liberal sites such as CNN will also go down. Kerry and the libs will try to bail out all their friends, but the fact is the papers are going down just like pro 8 because the general public just doesn't agree with this crap. You guys won 3 presidential elections in thirty years. How great is that, you must be very proud. But keep trying to brainwash the youth, after all Hitler said, if you control the youth you control the future. Obama's a great student of that philosophy.

    April 21, 2009 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  13. SHIRLEY "60"

    With the type of unprincipled people reporting news now, I am not sure that there should be anymore independent news media. They are for the most part no longer reporting the truth or the facts, and seem absolutely unable to be unbiased for what they are reporting. No where is that more evident than cable media. I believe we are probably getting more real news and truth from good i-witness reports on the internet. At least, when something is reported that is one-sided or incorrect, it can be refuted easily on the web.

    April 21, 2009 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  14. sky

    Everything, all things, come to one essential truth. In America you are governed by the person with the purse strings. Companies who advertise on your news program dictate what your news program says. When you have advertisers who WANT unbiased, unslanted journalism then you will get it. Our news is advertiser driven. Absolutely everything you see on TV or read in a newspaper or in a magazine has had marketing all over it first. We are a manipulated society.

    April 21, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  15. Steve, Columbia SC

    Senator, I just wish the journalists in the newspaper business were independent................................

    April 21, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  16. Eileen Brumbaugh

    Finally, someone in Washington is paying attention to this problem. It is critical to our Republic that we have a watch-dog press. I think that there should be more news reporting, not less. Cable news and the constant chatter can not replace newspapers, I believe, because there is an accountability that is lost. Anyone can jabber about anything on CNN, MSNBC or, and most especially FOX NEWS, but how often is there truth check in 24/7 coverage. When a journalist puts her/his name on an article, he/she is taking a public stand with a reputation that took years to develop. That is not true on the constant chatter of cable news. Thank you Senator Kerry for your attention to this critical issue.

    April 21, 2009 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  17. Chris

    This committee is another method to try and spend more money to save an industry that is so biased.

    Perhaps if the media wasn’t so biased and it reported consistently the hypocrisy on both sides the American people would realize the problem is with both political parties and vote for real change we can believe in. Not some goof who used a catch phrase and continues to run our country in to bankruptcy.

    April 21, 2009 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  18. shirley in virginia

    If my memory serves me correctly, a very wise professor once said in journalism school many years ago that "the only true freedom of the press belongs to the man who owns the press," or something to that effect. Sad, but it had never been more true than today.

    April 21, 2009 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  19. TexasVet75226

    Can't believe there are still folks tooting the "Liberal Media" horn. There is no liberal media. All the big media is owned by right-wing corporate hacks. Even PBS is now so heavily corporatized they tend to cover stories from the big-business perspective. They are now basically owned by their big sponsors like ADM, Merck, etc.

    All the corporate media covered the "Tea Parties" as if they were some hugh revolution about to happen – many with just a handfull of protesters. Where were they when 200,000+ people were marching in the street to protest the 2000 election? 100,000+ protesting the Iraq war? Covering torture by the US government as if it were just a minor slip in judegement?

    April 21, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  20. mickey doyle

    what i like about the news media they are the only ones to root out the corruption in the government.also if you have a problem you cannot get resolved you can write to the news media and your problem will be resolved,by embarrising the politician that cannot or would do nothing with your problem.

    April 21, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  21. Lee W. in Raleigh, NC

    It'd be worth it to me to pay an appropriate fee to read the newspaper online - I think this is the best way to go.

    April 21, 2009 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  22. S Callahan

    I agree we need both print and internet media and that's why i buy several written newspapers daily in addition to viewing several online sources. I don't think the written paper will completely die out...too much local content in them...but they need to change their formats a little to address their areas.
    lol...if internet news was the only news available we'd be in trouble...

    April 21, 2009 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  23. ArtNYC

    Can the govt please stay away from the press. If the liberal "independent" press had reported news like it's supposed to, they wouldn't be going bankrupt. "NYTimes" hint hint

    April 21, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  24. Vancouver, BC

    Americans only get American News. Little is broadcast on what is happening in the rest of the world unless it directly effects the US and then it is slanted depending on the politcal bent of the person writing or broadcasting. In effect a type of propaganda and a constant assault on the intelligence of the viewer.

    This is not true on Canada's cbc or Britains bbc which has objective, factual news. America's lack of knowledge of the rest of the world is astounding!

    April 21, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  25. today

    the banks are so afraid of the media reporting on how they spent the tarp money, they would rather return it than give an account as to what they did with it, good work media.

    April 21, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
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