Friday, April 8, 2011


Crisis Mode

“Scholars and commentators have been talking for some time about how the death of newspapers could have serious consequences for the quality of newsgathering. My research demonstrates a second, largely ignored ramification. The death of newspapers seriously threatens to put an end to some of the most important legal efforts in our democracy. . . .

“For generations, newspapers and newspaper organizations have expended substantial resources to litigate major cases to the U.S. Supreme Court to ensure that trials are open to the public. They have funded the drafting of virtually every piece of open-government legislation on both a federal and a state level. They have then gone on to fund litigation efforts to ensure that these statutes, once passed, are obeyed by government officials. The death of newspapers can be expected to pose a serious constitutional crisis.”

—RonNell Andersen Jones, BYU law professor and former newspaper editor,
New study IDs threats the ‘death of newspapers’ may have on open government,” March 2011
(See Jones’ research abstract.)

Editorial Comment: You get lotsa rats when the watchdog dies.

News Note: RonNell Andersen Jones, a Utah State journalism alumna, comes back to campus next week to deliver a Morris Media & Society Lecture based on her experiences as a clerk to Justice Sandra Day O’Connor on the U.S. Supreme Court. Free & the public is invited. Click here for details.

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1 comment:

  1. Lotsa rats when the cat dies, no? Seriously, here's a study the profession can actually use -- and it comes out of a law school rather than a J-school faculty. Kudos to Jones.