Earlier this week, Slate's economics writer Matt Yglesias wrote on these being the glory days of American journalism, what with such abundant sources and platforms of content. Conor Friedersdorf, writing for The Atlantic Online, takes issue with an element of that assertion in his essay. He argues that local coverage is suffering, no matter the breadth of new resources to understand the world. He says citizen journalism hasn't filled any breech opened by local newspaper cuts. "Until some entity is doing the work that local journalists aren't doing anymore, we're likely to see more instances of government waste and corruption, citizens who are more poorly informed about the government closest to them, and all the unpredictable dysfunction that entails," he writes. "Much is better --- and much is worse."
The Economist adds its voice against measures to impose press regulation in Britain. A royal charter passed in the Commons this week provides a simplified defamation process for those who enlist in the regulator and leaves others open to more severe penalties. The Economist says that in a choice between regulation and expression, it is far better to have expression. Even though tabloids have on occasion broken laws and victimized innocent people, they have also exposed lies and corruption in high places.
In the new edition of Nieman Reports, filmmaker and author Errol Mendes discusses truth in journalism. Mendes' new book examines the four-decade-old case of convicted murderer Jeffrey MacDonald, whom Mendes has concluded was innocent. But Mendes, a former detective, says the truth isn't about what a majority of people believe. "We are constantly creating narratives, but we should remember that narratives can be shown to be false," he says. "The world always trumps whatever story we can concoct for ourselves."