Q. No. But he was saying that there's an unspoken anxiety amongst editors around the country, that they're being squeezed.Blogger are great. They provide thoughtful perspectives from a very wide variety of news outlets. But to a very large extent, bloggers are dependent on news coverage by the very same media outlets that Keller is addressing. Bloggers cannot afford to send reporters around the world. Hell, most bloggers do it for the love of politcs and get no pay. As media sources are gutted, news inevitably gets blacked out.
KELLER: Well, of course there is. How could there not be? You look at what's happened in Philadelphia, what's happening in Baltimore, what's happening in -- well, now Los Angeles; a lot of places with storied newspapers with histories of really aggressive, impressive, prize-winning journalism, being hollowed out.
I'll tell you a couple of statistics that I've ran across lately, one of which I keep repeating at every opportunity. After the fall of Saddam Hussein, there were more than 1,000 foreign journalists in Iraq; today, there are fewer than 75. Now, I appreciate a lot that is because it's an incredibly dangerous place to work, but a lot of that is because newspapers are in retreat from covering complicated, foreign stories.
Throughout the coverage of the midterm elections, I was hearing from our reporters that the [campaign] buses were kind of empty, that on some of the major campaigns, even big papers in the states where the races were going on were not assigning the kind of reporting coverage that they would have in the past, that some of the major papers were telling their political reporters, "You have to clear it with us if you want to take an airplane somewhere." That isn't economy; that's suicide.
When I have an opportunity to talk to editors and publishers, I tell them this, that I think the gravest danger facing our business is not new technology or changing demographics or hostile administration in Washington or the blogosphere. The gravest danger facing our business is surrender, despair, panic. There's a lot of it going around. ...
I'm a very lucky person with every allergy known to man but still happy to be enjoying a wonderful life living in the best place in the world!