We are all really smart. We know stuff. We think stuff. We think we know stuff. And a lot of our knowing and thinking is thanks to people who are dedicated to gathering information and publishing it. All we have to do is “google” and there it is ready for us…and it’s free!
Or is it?
A few weeks ago, comedian and satirist John Oliver pointed out something we know pretty well here at On Pasture: readers have gotten used to getting the news for free. Free news means less money going into gathering the news, which means fewer reporters. Fewer reporters means there won’t be anyone from the media at local governance meetings. And that, explains TV writer and former journalist David Simon, means no one is watching.
“The next 10 or 15 years are going to be a halcyon era for state and local political corruption,” Simon says in a clip Oliver plays. “It is going to be one of the great times to be a corrupt politician.”
John Oliver says, “Sooner or later, we are either going to have to pay for journalism or we are all going to pay for it.”
So, if you’re a corrupt politician, congratulations. Here comes a smooth ride to easy street. If you’re not a corrupt politician, and you’re not too keen on mixing corruption with government, or with much of anything, it’s time to buy a subscription to your local newspaper.
It also might make you consider supporting On Pasture. If you wake up every Tuesday excited to see what the new articles are, we’re a part of your life that you’d miss, right? And though you can click on the website and it seems like everything is free, really it’s not. We’re here, behind the screen, finding new information for you, and we need your support to keep things going. Just click the button, pick something that works best for you, ($12, $24 $24,000? :-)) and we’ll send you a bumper sticker to say THANKS!
And we thank you for your support!
Rachel and Kathy
Oh – and if you’d like to see that John Oliver piece, here it is. Just be forewarned. He peppers his reporting with words that fill cuss jars and curl hair.