With the advent of online news media and the recent crisis in publishing, newspapers are struggling to find their purpose in an ever-shifting news landscape.
The internet has opened the door to anyone and everyone with an opinion on the news, and this move has left newspapers wondering how they should adjust their offerings, if at all. Some offer journalists the opportunity to provide more commentary on their beats, blurring the line between unbiased reporting and opinionated commentary. Others, like the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, feel that it's important to balance all opinions with an opposing opinion.
"If we have a view to the right, (our readers) want a balance of a view to the left," said Journal-Constitution editor Julia Wallace to NPR. "And they want us to be transparent about how we go about our work."
Wallace's comments led Slate's food writer Dan Mitchell to question if its really in the best interest of consumers for newspapers to offer them issues that are "dull, useless, and full of mush."
"It's like our newspapers are being run by drugged out, brainwashed cult members," he writes. "They really believe that the less newspapers appear to have been written and edited by humans, the better."