On his Reflections of a Newsosaur blog last week, Alan Mutter, a media executive and former newspaper editor, argued that 2008 was the “last hurrah” for mainstream media and that the race provided ample evidence that this marginalization is already well under way. He cited the shrinkage of newspaper circulations to “mid-1940s” levels and the fact that 33.5 million watched the Obama infomercial in late October, millions more than all the network news programs combined on a good night. Clearly the world has changed. But to what extent has “the MSM” (and maybe we can define some terms in the course of this discussion) lost influence over presidential campaigns? Is mainstream media truly in danger of becoming a marginal player in our democracy?
We’ll ask a journalism question like this one every Tuesday, and we invite you to join us in a conversation.The Editors are the staffers of Columbia Journalism Review.