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. Bob

    Let print media die like the dinosaurs. Its time has come and gone and the web is the new medium for news. People drive cars to work everyday instead of riding a horse. We have advanced. Same goes for news. Besides, think of all of the trees that will be saved instead of wasted on printing a paper that most read and dispose of within an hour. What a waste.

    April 21, 2009 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  2. jAY

    open your minds
    Kerry is absolutely right.........a hearing can produce more information, which is always good.
    whoever you read or listen to, facts cannot be distortred only omitted.

    April 21, 2009 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  3. Ryan

    There hasn't been an independent media in a long time. This is most clearly seen when you think of how GM is now run by the government (BO fired the CEO) since they gave them bailout money. The gov also gave GE 10 billion dollars. GE happens to own NBC and MSNBC. Does anyone doubt who runs those two fine (gag) media outlets?

    April 21, 2009 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  4. Patrick

    Newspapers are dying b/c of free market forces. Most of us like to get our news on TV or in the internet. When mainstream media became almost exclusively liberal it really hurt their cause as well, as the average independent minded person couldn't trust what they were reading.

    April 21, 2009 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  5. kp

    Sorry Mr. Kerrry, but journalism has died in many newspapers long ago.

    April 21, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  6. Buckwheat19

    The newpapaers missed the boat, period. They were not fast enough to change with the times, and stuck to an agenda that was vastly different from what the public (those of us that cared enough and are intelligent enough to read a paper) wanted.

    Had they been truly independent they may not be in this predicament.

    Sen. Kerry should spend his time worrying about the security and future of this country and the fitness and legal status of our President before wasting more $ on this kind of crap.

    April 21, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  7. Melissa

    Losing newspapers isn't a threat to journalism, people are just getting their news from better, and free sources that cover news from around the world in real time.

    April 21, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  8. Shannon

    I thought the world in general was supposed to think conservation..... Wouldn't the end of "newsPAPERS" save the trees?

    April 21, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  9. Anonymous

    Kerry, the opportunist strikes again! Does Kerry think this will endear him to the press or what? I know tehre are reoports that teh NY times mightfile bankrupcy, but Journalism won't die if the NYT goes bankrupt! And even if print media does fade away, there is still TV news and the internet, so who cares if these papers die out? it's the price of technology. just like the dinosaurs died out.. Sorry John, your brown nosing is not only self-serving, but wrong -headed

    April 21, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  10. deb

    As much as I love my daily newspaper I have to agree that the printed word, i.e., news'papers', may be dying out. We are so used to getting everything, including our news, "now", thanks to the internet, that I think we need to rethink the whole issue. I'm not sure what the best solution to this dilemma is but we clearly need good journalism! I just hope the reason people don't subscribe to newspapers any longer isn't because of the dumbing down of America that has been going on for far too long. I started reading the newspaper when I was in high school. Granted, some of that was "human interest" type stories and Dear Abby, but it was a start. I don't know any teenagers today who read the newspaper. That is just sad.

    April 21, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  11. Barry

    Is this a joke. Our news media is so biased that it makes me sick. I do not think I dislike any one group more than mainstream journalists with the exception of ACLU lawyers. Take the example of CNN reporter Susan Roesgen last week carrying her agenda in as non-biased "reporter" covering a story.

    April 21, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  12. P Alfonso

    We need an impartial media more than we need an independent media.
    If they are going to takes sides on the issues instead of just reporting it then we don't need them. If they are filling the front page with their opinion and the real news on section C7 they are not going to stay in business.
    Report it impartially as it is and let the people form their own opinion.
    They main reason why the newspapers are failing is not because of the Internet is because the readers do not want to hear their opinion but just what is happening.
    If the people are not interested on what they have to say and are not going to read the newspapers then what is the point on keeping them on circulation.
    Let the free market decide.

    April 21, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  13. Lateicha in FL

    I agree that free and independent media is essential to democracy... unfortunately most journalists that are part of the media are liberal and thus biased toward the Democratic party and other liberal groups and causes. Fox is probably better balanced. They are accused of being right-wing. If you compare them to other broadcast and cable news networks, they do appear more to the right.... but that's only because they are more in the middle and the other networks have swung way left.

    April 21, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  14. don danielson

    John Kerry would be in charge of this unbiased study! Newspapers would have done better if not for the campaign fiasco that proved to anyone with any brains at all that most are so biased to the left that journalism is dead. The return to true journalism would have to be the issue, and all Kerry would be after is to save another venue with a left wing bias. So let them fail, and no bailouts.

    April 21, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  15. NFL

    I do still read some print journalism, and think there is a place for it. So much on the internet and the tv are not fact-finding journalism, but opinion, and pundits. For history's sake, we do need to have some way to preserve the daily occurances. I'm not sure of the answer, because we did cut our paper due to our family's budget cut-backs...

    April 21, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  16. AJ from Fla

    Jornalism in the USA is totally corrupted. Let it gol under

    April 21, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  17. Dan

    Who wanna buy a bunch of lies. Americans have learnt to filter through and get the news before they are reported. That way they don't need to buy newspapers that are written to Promote republicans agenda!!

    April 21, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  18. w.l. jones

    Media is good if truly informative but they went to far premoting the cold war that cause the death hunddreds of thousand people which never exit.

    April 21, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  19. Travis

    If only he was around to save the telegraph. Morse code was cool right. No one reads newspapers anymore, say goodbye.

    April 21, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  20. Dan

    I hope Oprah or someone with alot of money would come up with a news outlet!

    April 21, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  21. Scott

    What a complete waste of time and Taxpayer dollars.

    April 21, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  22. Larry Schluetr

    When is our president going to stand up to this crap????? Oh, wait a minute . . . BO is in bed with GE so he can have the support of NBC . . . it is so true that the liberals are a hateful and unfair group. The democrats are only interested in themselves and not for the good of the country. For Kerry to make such statement is proof that there is very little intelligence in the Congress. HELP . . . America is in trouble.

    April 21, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  23. Fair is Fair

    John Kerry just wants to prop up the various media, as 90% are either tilted left or just plain left wing propoganda.

    Let the newspapers go the way of the hand-cranked telephones.

    April 21, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  24. Ms Hudson

    Newspapers – print journalism – helped form this country. Ben Franklin and others who spoke out agains the monarchy were jailed and had their presses confiscated.

    Americans' ignorance of their country's past – as well as its present and future – will surely continue to destroy this country and make it virtually a nothing nation, which it's on its way to becoming: wow, its people can't get education; the country's infrastructure is falling apart because of politicians' pandering to businesses; our mothers/fathers and sisters/brothers or aunts/uncles are dying every day in a country we should never have entered...

    And all the bulk of the responses on this board can do is call John Kerry names.

    You get what you deserve.

    April 21, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  25. William

    It may have once been true, but for a very long time, the idea of an independant media has been a myth. The media has to turn a profit and to do that, it must sell ads. What we once had, but no longer have, is a code of ethics that keep the executives and ad-men out of the newsroom. It is now painfully apparent that editorial policy is dictated from the front office to assuage advertisers and promote political agendas. Sometimes those agendas are left-leaning, sometimes right-leaning. But the objectivity is almost completely gone. Bloggers, which are supposed to be the antithesis of our corporate-controlled media, are even worse. They aren't journalists and are even more prone to policial motivation.

    April 21, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
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