Moats on newspapers

Rutland Herald Editor David Moats has a great piece on Vermont Public Radio this week on the national decline of the newspaper industry.

In the piece, he makes a very vital point:

The newspapers are the ones doing most of the in-depth original research. If there were no newspapers, somebody would have to invent them, if they could pay for them.

That comment ruffled the feathers of a Vermont blogger. But I had to giggle because the post following that one – by another blogger on the site – begins with the words, "Based on a report in the Rutland Herald …"

-Dan Barlow

3 Responses to Moats on newspapers

  1. Why “giggle?” We excerpt from the Rutland Herald all the time. Has anyone claimed otherwise?
    Instead of giggling, how about responding to the content of my so-called “feather-ruffling?”

  2. About two months ago someone from your paper engaged in a dialog in the comment section of Green Mountain Daily.The topic in question was the fairness in the wording of an online poll in the Times Argus and Rutland Herald.The back and forth that took place ,I think helped both the bloggers and a newspaperman understand a bit more about each other’s perspective .I encourage Vermont View reporter/bloggers to take an active role and engage readers of their own blog as well as GMD.
    Bellow is a quote from a National Association of Newspapers forum about the future of newspapers,it can be found …online. Here is a link
    ” The publishers who succeed in the future will be agnostic about the platforms they use to capitalize on those core strengths.”
    Alan D. Mutter, former newspaperman and now blogger, Reflections of a Newsosaur (

  3. “The newspapers are the ones doing most of the in-depth original research.”
    Unless I missed something, that Rutland Herald story is based on information in a VY newsletter, not any special research.
    In my view, the Rutland Herald’s advantage is having a staff person who knows and understands the issue, has covered it for a long time, and can interpret the information for a wider audience. That’s valuable.
    Replacing that expert with someone new could do more damage than changing the format in which the story is published (loss of newspaper).
    Minor other note: GMD linked to a website, not a page in a paper.