Are Newspapers Civic Institutions or Algorithms?

By: Dominic Basulto | Big Think

The current state of the newspaper industry is unsettled at best: more than two hundred newspapers have either folded or stopped publishing their print editions since 2007. Even the most acclaimed newspapers in the country are downsizing their newsrooms or suspending home delivery of physical newspapers. Even after embracing social media, newspapers are still struggling with paywalls and subscriptions. As a result, the typical argument calls for supporting newspapers historically have been based on the idea of newspapers as a sort of civic institution that we, as a society, must preserve in the name of ideals (always capitalized) like Truth. But what if, instead, we begin to think of newspapers in perhaps a more mundane manner — as algorithms for solving problems?

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