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. Says Cession

    Without the so called "independent (liberal slanted) news media", people might not be able to be brainwashed into thinking Democrats are wonderful, caring people. They might evaluate them on their merits, and we would be stuck with an independent or libertarian government. That would be terrible. We need Kerry to spend more money and create more liberal slanted garbage to keep people like Obama in office.

    April 21, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  2. Michigan

    Dave April 21st, 2009 10:05 am ET

    Diverse and independent? The media single handedly got Obama elected and still refuses to criticize.

    In the first place, the fair and balanced Faux Noise did all they could to make sure suspicion was cast on Obama from birth onward. The people saw through the charade and the baiting and the lies, and elected the best man for the job.
    Secondly, if the media was just reporting the news, why would they be criticizing anything? I thought you wanted just reporting, not
    commentary. You can't have it both ways...if you want to know what Sean Hannity's opinion is, that is not hard news. If you want to know how Congress voted on an issue, that is. Those of us who watch Olbermann know exactly when he is reporting facts and when he is telling us his viewpoint. An educated person can discern the difference, but editorial comments belong on the editorial page, not the front page.
    And if you had been watching MSNBC, Keith has done plenty of criticizing of the expansion of the war, the failure to want to prosecute the previous adminstration for war crimes...unlike Fox, who just criticizes, MSNBC actually reports what's happening and looks beyond the sound bite.

    April 21, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  3. Rick

    Journalism died when academia became infected with the disease called liberalism and then began spawning brainwashed robots to carry the blind liberal message forward under the name of "journalism".

    April 21, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  4. Dan

    Why does the media keep hosting republicans even after being thrown out of power. ..Why do they give Dick cheney air time to talk over President Obama with what he is trying to do?

    April 21, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  5. Scott AZ

    What journalism? There are no real news reporters today, and as far of the print media goes, the papers that are shutting down are mostly those that pushes an extreme far left view to the point that their readership are cancelling their subscriptions.

    April 21, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  6. Fitz in Texas

    I stopped the paper months ago because I got sick and tired of the one sided liberal media. I want to hear ALL sides of the story, not just one.

    April 21, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  7. barking republican ankle biters

    Todays press is a joke,just like the fake two party system.What we have today are not rights,only temporary privlages.

    April 21, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  8. Chipster

    I'm not really so sure that the problem is as much with the media as it is with an ignorant public. What many are referring to as "news" is not news but is commentary. Nightly news should, and usually does deliver the news, just the facts with quotes and videos. Most newspapers report the news but the political page is just that – political – and they usually try to have columns from both sides of an issue. Each side complains that the other is allow to have a column.

    But, if people are counting TV commentary (i.e. Chris Matthews, Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, Jon Stewart, Steven Colbert, etc.) to be "fair and balanced," they need an attitude adjustment. These are people with an agenda, even if that agenda is just to boost ratings, make money, or just make people laugh.

    Journalists could do a better job of investigating issues thoroughly but there has been a big improvement in that arena in the past few years. People should be exposed to both sides of an issue but be aware that there is news, entertainment, and political campaigning. Try to recognize the difference.

    April 21, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  9. William

    The "liberal, biased media" is nothing more than right wing propaganda. This lie was invented by the GOP, when the media went after Richard Nixon and uncovered his criminal wrongdoing. Well, if demanding the truth is liberal, tell me where I'm supposed to line up.

    April 21, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  10. Cindy

    To all the folks who think the Internet is 'the' place to get news... check the by-lines! Many many of these stories come from Newspaper staff who are paid well to do good investigative journalism. Paper may be an outdated way to get access to the news but without those who write what we read (online or in paper form) our access to quality journalism will suffer.

    April 21, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  11. texan

    He might as well count the leaves on the trees. -- What a total waste of time and manpower.

    April 21, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  12. tim

    Some people think Cspan is a fair public channel because it is a citizens network. If you think so, think again. Look how they arrange their Programs and look who comes to the network for rebuttal.

    Sick and tired of being sick and tired!!

    April 21, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  13. Bev - NYC

    With all the other things going on, is a congressional hearing necessary to tell us what we already know,the newspaper industry missed the boat ! Newspapers on a local/regional level may survive to report police or school board corruption. With the immediacy of cable news and internet bloggers, newpapers are a thing of the past. I still enjoy my daily paper on the train ride to work, but that is what I grew up with. The younger generation get their news on blackberrys, I-Phones and lap tops they will not pay for something available for free.

    April 21, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  14. Tom in Delaware

    Do not bail out the New York Times with my money.

    Let that Liberal rag fail.

    1st Quarter of 2009:

    Gun sales up 27%

    NYTimes Ad revenue down 27%

    How's information like that grab you?

    Since I've helped to support both that must make me one of Neapolitano's "Right-Wing Extremist's"

    BTW-Fox News is killing the rest of the industry combined...fools.

    April 21, 2009 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  15. frank

    Journalism died when Peter Jennings died.......
    Or in other words when Dan Rather got fired because of asking hard questions of Bush millitary credentials.........

    April 21, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  16. worriedmom

    Hope this is not leading to a bailout for the newspapers. Also could this be a back door for the Fairness doctrine. Let's only pick the newspapers that show favoritism. Doesn't Kerry get it that most people gain their news from the Internet???? Man needs to concentrate on spending our tax dollars on more important issues and stop worrying about how he is going to be presented in the press.

    April 21, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  17. Buck Tooth

    Perhaps the media outlets are dying becuause they are no longer independent.

    April 21, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  18. Al from SoCal

    I hope John Kerry also addresses that clear and present bias exist in the cable news today and the corporate relationships between political parties. I was a stout Democrat inspired to vote for the very first time at age 35 by President Clinton. After many years I finally accept the fact that he let me down but I still believed in Democratic Party I never believed the rhetoric that there was a liberal bias in the cable news. Everday watching both Fox news and MSNBC I often bashed Fox news and praise people like Chris Matthews; until until Barack Obama. I watched as the clear and present biased for Obama as so evident in CNN and especially MSNBC. the bashing and bias even extended to fellow Democrats like Hillary Clinton.
    I could understand why the DNC would want Obama over Clinton, until I realized that the best way to impose an extreme viewpoint and agenda is to make people afraid to object.
    Most people are afraid to object to Barack Obama because he's black and those who do are subject to harsh criticism and labeling. You use the fear of character assassination and other fears like economic concerns than you can ram just about anything through.
    The Bush administration were amateurs when it comes to using fear as a tool to promote an agenda.
    Now is an independent I still watch all three networks and Fox news time after time has always been the most balanced

    April 21, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  19. Michael Carr

    It's called "creative destruction".

    April 21, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  20. disgusted

    Things went downhill in a hurry when it was decided that the news should become entertainment. Then of course legislation that prevented the same people filtering most of the media was weakened. Investigative reporting? What is that?

    I also get most of my news from non-American sources. BBC and CBC are good English language sources. Some online media is good but you will not find too many knowledgeable impartial people reporting there.

    How many people remember real news programs? And when opinion pieces were labeled as such?

    April 21, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  21. Chi Town

    since 90% of the media is in the liberal pocket... so much so it's makes you ill.... let them die... it's all slanted personal views anyway.

    Don't worry... AM radio and FOX cable are profiting even in a slow economy... so the truth will still be out there

    April 21, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  22. Little too late????

    ...and next, the fox will be watching the henhouse. Maybe Mr Kerry should have put in an "earmark" for several hundred million to study the effects of the fox watching henhouses!!!?!?!?

    Yet another prime example of OUR tax dollars being wasted by politicians with agendas...Wake up, America! Hangers on like this need to go back home and out of DC.

    April 21, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  23. Neil

    Americans have all the media choices they need. Journalists need to exert more control over themselves and reestablish their responsibility to a journalistic code of ethics and those standards of professional conduct which have made the fourth estate such an important part of American life. Especially considering the fact that today any self-righteous, uneducated, opinionated buffoon with a laptop computer can present himself to millions as a journalist. It is the duty of the fourth estate to rise above those conditions and present factual information in a fair and unbalanced manner. Mainstream media has abandoned that duty in exchange for ratings (profit). As we evolve into this new found wealth of information and bastion of free speech, journalism and free press will evolve with us. All Kerry wants to do is lay the groundwork for a state controlled media.

    April 21, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  24. RJN

    That is the problem with politics today we continue to go back to the old. With technology comes progress and newspapers are the old way to get informed. He needs to let it go and use Twitter or the Internet.
    Anyways isn't he for helping the environment, we can't continue to cut down trees for the paper.
    Get over it !!! The newspaper people need to cross over to the internet for jobs, that's the way it will be going forward.

    April 21, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  25. Bob the Observer

    Kerry and the print media have a lot in common. Both are a thing of the past, on the way out.

    April 21, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
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