[Marxism] Newspapers and the Internet

Joonas Laine jjonas at nic.fi
Sun Mar 15 05:27:43 MDT 2009

Louis Proyect wrote:
> The big news today is that the Washington Post is dropping their 
> business section. Meanwhile, there's been a ton of articles in the last 
> week or so about newspapers going out of business. Some cities that have 
> only one paper will have none in the future. Denver's Rocky Mountain 
> News is an example. This paper which hounded Ward Churchill out of a job 
> is now out of a business. Poetic justice.
> Who knows what the future will have in store, but I guarantee you that 
> the Internet will fill the vacuum. Here's an example of what a new 
> information medium will look like. It is a comment by a Dutchman on the 

One thing relating to the topic of newspapers and the internet came up 
when me and a comrade were planning youth activities of our trade union 
branch. The finnish Left League newspaper, at present three times a week 
plus a thicker weekend paper, is about to be terminated next autumn. 
What will remain is a boosted weekend edition with daily updates on the 
internet. (Left League is a left social-democratic party, in case 
someone wants to know.)

It's great of course that the Left League paper finally makes it to the 
internet as well; they used to have a website that was like from the mid 
90s or something. But giving up "dead tree publications" isn't 
exclusively a great thing, because I think a dead tree paper could have 
a dynamic the internet can't, or at least doesn't at present (and I'm 
not sure how it can). I'm not talking about selling your group's paper 
in the street, hand to hand. What you can do is take a  dead tree paper 
to your workplace and throw it on the lunch room table, where at least 
some people will read it when they've finished with the evening tabloids 
someone else has brought in. It's also a good means to start some 
political discussion with your workmates, "did you read that thing 
there" etc.

With internet publications people have to find their own way to it, and 
even if they all read what they used to read in the paper on the lunch 
room table, they'll do it atomised, everyone on their own computer at home.

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