On Thursday,Jim Moroney
paid a visit to Austin, where he told an audience of University of Texas journalism students and professors: Only The Major Metropolitan Newspaper can preserve, protect and defend democracy ... or something like that.
's publisher spoke of rapidly shrinking ad revenues (half of them gone in just four years) and the roles ofTexas Tribune
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(not-for-profits are fine, he said, but too small to "replicate and replace the scale of for-profit newspaper resources") and NPR and PBS ("political footballs") and television news outlets ("no local media company will step in and take the newspaper's place").
"I have done a whole lot of soul-searching about the business of news, especially that dimension of news we call accountability journalism, watchdog journalism, that journalism that Jefferson and Adams and others were contemplating when they included a promise of the freedom of press in the Bill of Rights," he says. "I have questioned whether this kind of news should be the province of for-profit media."
The video above is not Moroney's entire speech; it ends just as he's about to discuss life behind the pay wall. That bit can be found in the Knight Center for Journalism's wrap-up. But there is not an end to this story, not yet; I believe the word is "transition."