the federal government had issued an edict demanding that there be a sharp reduction in international journalism, or that local newsrooms be closed or their staffs and budgets slashed. Imagine if the president had issued an order that news media concentrate upon celebrities and trivia, rather than rigorously investigate and pursue scandals and lawbreaking in the White House….Professors of journalism and communication would have gone on hunger strikes…entire universities would have shut down in protest. Yet, when quasi-monopolistic commercial interests effectively do pretty much the same thing, and leave our society as impoverished culturally…it passes with only minor protest in most journalism and communication programs.

Over the top, sure, but it makes you think. 

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Carlin Romano is the literary critic of The Philadelphia Inquirer and critic-at-large of The Chronicle of Higher Education. He teaches philosophy and media theory at the University of Pennsylvania.