President Obama says he still reads newspapers. And everyone has seen his “Hope” poster. But did he really just give hope to newspapers?
On Friday, Obama talked with editors from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Toledo Blade in an exclusive Oval Office interview centered on the newspaper industry. During the conversation, Obama confessed he was still a “big newspaper junkie,” which might place him in the unique position as the world’s only devoted print reader left. Or maybe this is just his way of saying he found a replacement for his much maligned smoking habits.
Either way, Obama expressed optimism for the dying newspaper industry in what could be the impetus it needs to regain status and readers. And he even said he would “be happy” to look at any Congressional legislation introduced to aid the industry.
But one step forward, two steps back.
Obama then said this:
I am concerned that if the direction of the news is all blogosphere, all opinions, with no serious fact-checking, no serious attempts to put stories in context, that what you will end up getting is people shouting at each other across the void but not a lot of mutual understanding.
Alienating bloggers was probably not a good choice, especially when his comments weren’t picked up by any major newspaper, but were, incidentally, picked up by blogs.