Alan Mutter sounds an idealistic, nostalgic note in his latest post for journalism to regain its mission and sense of public service. If there is a lesson in last week's circulation success of the newspaper, it is that people turn to them in important times for the best package of information in the best form of presentation.
Mutter believes a reinvigoration of the connection with importance is a path out of the current circulation mess in the U.S. He advocates "muscular, crusading" work that eschews staged news, press releases and publicity seekers.
"Because newspapers still have more staff and more time to develop stories than any other local medium, they can do this immediately by training their firepower on truly significant matters, if they quit staffing meaningless press conferences; penning fluffy features; rewriting self-serving publicity releases; laboring over elaborate but inane graphics; obsessing over crime news, and transcribing dull but unimportant civic meetings."