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

Kerry to hold hearing on the future of journalism

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/04/21/art.kerry.gi.jpg caption="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. Chi Town

    Every single American knows the main stream news media is extremely liberal... is not hard to see... their reporting is so slanted and full of personal opinion it's rediculous. Look at Jack and Anderson... refering to people as Tea Bagging... thats about as much integrity as Howard Stern.

    Let them die... the only one's who will miss them are the Democrats politicians whos backside they kiss.

    Dan Rather is the best example... straight up lying to influence an election... and this is what Kerry wants to save... no need to wondere why

    April 21, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  2. Ken

    I do not know when we had an independent media in this country. Analysis I have seen indicates at least 80% of the media exists with a hard left slant, and has for decades. Maybe the citizens of this once great country are simply getting tired of the liberal distortion, and lack of factual reporting. Of course, we did vote for a left-wing community organizer who is busy running around the world appologizing for representing the only country who once truly offered freedom and liberty for all.

    Welcome to the new banana republic.

    April 21, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  3. Great distruction

    Bottom line, the media can't be trusted period! They all lie and push their agendas to have high ratings. America is so full of hypocrisy, you can't trust our leaders nor the media. Lets just face it, we are on our own. You can't get good news without hidden agendas and you definitely can't trust those in Washington, because they are a bunch of lying thieves, who are taking us around the track with our tax dollars. We work hard and they take it. Do you see any of them in the media or Washington having financial woes? Of course NOT! They are all in it together people.

    April 21, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  4. P from CA

    The media overall is not independent or free but giant corporations of print, cable, radio, etc. The idea of a free and independent press is needed but that will require breaking up the conglomerates of media. Specifically the press is far from independent. I stopped buying a paper when 90% was day old information from the AP or Reuters. The only value for me for print media is local information and even that has become "regional."

    April 21, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  5. The Right Isn't

    Tom in Delaware April 21st, 2009 11:17 am ET

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

    No one should take from Fox News’ high ratings that ratings alone means that what it broadcasts is the truth. It is a bit like saying if McDonald’s is the most popular restaurant, it must mean its food is healthy.

    For that matter, take the example of “The Daily Show.” A 2007 study by Pew Research showed that viewers of “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report” have the highest knowledge of national and international affairs, while Fox News viewers rank nearly dead last.

    So who's the fool now?

    April 21, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  6. JD

    Old Hatchet Face is at it again. Maybe he can get his wife to donate some of her inheritance. I mean remember when he was running for President and his financial statement read like a banks financial statement. The man is wealthy so why don't he just give them his money?

    April 21, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  7. bj, Texas

    Let's face it. Media is liberal biased and in bed with the current administration. Look at you CNN, you have Paul Begala and James Carville working for you. Why don't you report on their daily briefings with Ron Emanuel where they discuss their media strategies for the day.

    I'm sure my post will not see the light of day.

    April 21, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  8. Super MOD

    William – The problem is the media will not go after Obama or Clinton the way they went after Nixon or Bush. I want a media that will investigate all politicians. My hard earned money is paying their salaries and the media is needed to let us know how well they are doing. I could care less how the reporter voted. I want the facts and all of he documents. What did Obama really know about Blago? What did Cheney cover up with Haliburton in Iraq? Where are the tough questions and document discovery from our media? A society who fails to question their leaders is destined for failure as a whole.

    April 21, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  9. Mississippi Mike

    The news will no longer be independent if the government starts subsidizing newspapers or any other type of media. We've already seen how interference-minded the Democrats are with their tampering in banks and the auto industry, who's to say they would treat newspapers any different?

    April 21, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  10. Mari

    Faux News.......... gets "high ratings" and I question it. Faux Stations also carry popular shows like "American Idol" & "24".

    Journalism is changing, its good to evolve and change. Our family gets its news online. We read the New York Times & CNN, daily. And watch little or no local news.

    Still love my Sunday NY Times, though!

    April 21, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  11. Sniffit

    You want a good news outlet? Try Factcheck.org or Google your news up or sometimes even wikipedia.org has good footnoted sources from which you can gather bare-bones factual data from which to draw your own opinion. You will not get objective journalism from any major network media outlet anymore, so really, the blather about slant in one direction or the other is a red herring. The problem the GOP is having right now is that the facts and evidence are mainlly contrary to the perceptions and positions they want to sell, so they're pretty angry about anyone reporting those things instead of pretending they don't exist.

    And by the way, the internet has plenty of skewed news to balance out the purely factual, including virulent blogs from both sides of the fence, so GOPers relying on the argument that it's the "liberal slant" of the newspapers that is killing them are just rationalizing to make themselves feel more comfortable. The fact is, our society is tired of the slanted crap from both sides and is more and more relying on the internet to do fact checking and verification and then to write our own articles and opinions and blogs fighting the good fight to reprimand news outlets and politicians alike for their disrespect for facts, evidence, historical truth and their lack of any curiosity in terms of digging underneath the surface to uncover deeper truth (e.g., it would have been nice to hear something about Israel's blatanlty racist and fascist Minister Lieberman in response to the colective hissy fit thrown in response to Ahmadinejad calling Israel racist...because it happens to prove him right).

    April 21, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  12. The lonely Libertarian of Liverpool NY

    Yes let's bailout the newspapers. Let's see we gave Wall Street 700 Billion, AIG got 170 Billion, GM got 57 Billion, the banks got 1.3 trillion, sure let's bailout the newspapers, how’s, a nice round 300 Billion sound? And Sen. Kerry please do not forget the airline industry. They are hurting as well. Better plan another trillion for them.
    And then Big brother can nationalize all of these private companies and before you know it we have the "New World Order" or what our founding fathers referred to as Tyranny!

    April 21, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  13. Terry - California

    Frankly, open debate and disagreement on political issues is healthy and warranted in an open and free society. Since 1968, I mostly voted as a strong conservative who is also a hawk. However, I did vote for two women senators, strictly to send a message that women should have a vote in the House and Senate, not just men. I also voted for President Obama, my first Democratic President. The media, although some claim it so, is not fair and balanced. By their nature, the "talking heads" of evening talk shows are biased, either to the left or the right. I can handle that aspect of these shows, because my channel changer is my control point when I get tired of hearing the bologna these folks spew. The print media is passing on, due solely to the fact that they are reporting history – basically what happened yesterday. Real-time news is killing print media. The electronic newspaper, CNN, Fox News, CSPAN, etc. are a real-time source that many people rely on 24/7. I am not for standardization of news, talk radio, or television talk shows. If the Congress or Senate try to control these sources of information, we will hear the Left and Right Versions of what the people really need. We had eight years of one-sided information and reporting, with CNN, MSNBC, CBS, and ABC referred to as the Loony Left, by Fox News, Bill O'Reilly, and Sean Hannity. We are now finding that the Loony Left was only interested in protecting our basic human rights. You have to love The Freedom of Information Act.

    April 21, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  14. Doug Malott

    All Kerry [ The traitor ] wants to do is save the totally, in the bag leftist
    newspapers like The New York Times and The LA Times from furthering the democrat's anti – american agenda. And speaking of traitors let's throw in Carter and Obama for kissing the feet of murdering, thug dictators. If Bush had even thought of doing half the trash Obama has done the media would have hung him from a lamp post. It's a joke. Obama has 4 fingers out of the water already. Totally incompetent in world affairs like Carter and Clinton. This guy has no experience what so ever and it shows. Just wait until he gets stuck in the tar baby of Afghanhistan then we'll see how his press buddies try to bail him out. And by the way, where is all the outrage of sending more
    troops in? Wake up. This guy gives feel good speeches and does nothing. He's a cheer leader for a losing team.

    April 21, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  15. Michael M, Phoenix AZ

    The problem with journalism today is that are not enough "Woodstein's" (ala ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN), but too many Hannity's, O'Reilly's, and Limbaugh's that give journalism a bad name.

    April 21, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    No bailout for the newspapers....don't even think about it....it's survival of the strongest. Government should never be involved...didn't Hugo Chavez just take over the newspapers....symptomatic of socialism. Not my taxpayer money...you might as well as put a fork in these democrats...they are done.. hello anybody there. This has gotten to be ridiculous.

    April 21, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  17. Lynda/Minnesota

    I, for one, will be supporting any media which doesn't spend a inordinate amount of journalistic time and talent fueling the anger of Americans on inert subject matter – handshakes and smiles come to mind – but, rather focuses on issues and concerns of substance .

    April 21, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  18. Glennis

    Stop it! We don't need to bail out every blasted thing that goes bust in this country! We can't continue to borrow and prop up entities that we should just let go under! If newspapers were worth a hoot anymore, they wouldn't be going under. As for independent media in this country.....where would those be? Few and far between, for sure. So this begs the question of who he wants to save. The NY Times? Washington Post? Any and all who support the liberal party line? Note to Congress: Stop wasting time and my money on nonsense and do something constructive.

    April 21, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  19. Scott

    Newspapers are struggling because of their obvious Liberal Bias. Who wants to pay for a paper that shoves their biased opinion down your throat and not report the facts. The only ones buying those papers are Liberals and that is limiting their circulation. Same goes for Newsweek, when my subscription is up, it will be cancelled. I don't buy newspapers or magazines for their opinions. I want the news reported unbiased and will not support it otherwise.

    April 21, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  20. Nestor, Austin, TX

    The print news media is failing because they are printing classified information and and anti-American rhetoric. Americans don't want to read how evil they are for being born in America and they don't want to read how rotten their country is. Sure there are things wrong in America, but the majority of print media doesn't print anything good about America. There are good things and bad things. If you don't print anything good about America, people will stop buying your paper. The moderate and conservative papers are doing much better financially. They print the good and the bad about America, not tell their readers that America is evil. Newspapers should be subject to the free market. But so should banks and the auto industry. I'm guessing bailout. Hey, if the government bails out the newspapers, they can tell the newspapers what to print. Just like they tell the banks who to lend to and automakers what kind of cars to make. I'm sure this government would love to have its own propaganda branch, I mean 'save' the newspapers.

    April 21, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  21. vince

    This has nothing to do with liberal or conservitive bias. Newspapers are hurting for a couple of reasons. 1. The free media, the internet is grabbing more and more market share. 2. We're in a deep recession, advertising money is down.

    April 21, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
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