Odds & Ends

This one-source story in the NYT today bothers me.

It’s got some analysis, but not much. Couldn’t find one independent source who had something worthwhile to say?

ProPublica does some good bird-dogging of Sen. Christopher Dodd’s Countrywide problem. Remember, Dodd was a “friend of Angelo” Mozilo, and he promised to reveal the details of his mortgage.

Dodd finally did. Sort of. Okay, not really. And ProPublica stays on the trail.

Hit up this NYT forum on how to save newspapers.

Finally, here’s Steven Brill:

With the current model of free online content, newspapers have essentially turned themselves into shoppers — but, ironically, still with great quality, created by the same culture and people whose work consumers used to pay for. This is complete suicide. Newspapers should, in fact, be more profitable online — because it gets rid of the cost of paper, printing and delivery. This should be the golden age of journalism, delivered without the trucks.

Newspapers bought into the idea that the culture of the Internet is “free,” or maybe they thought initially that online content was just an add-on to attract subscribers, but it hasn’t turned out that way.

Has America ever needed a media watchdog more than now? Help us by joining CJR today.

Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at rc2538@columbia.edu. Follow him on Twitter at @ryanchittum.