Shaddows - 9:44 am on Aug 30, 2012 (gmt 0)
If they all disappeared, would we actually be any worse off, since we would still be able to get information from countless other sources?
The vast majority of politician spend the vast amount of their time serving the public good (either of the uncontentious or idealogically inspired kind). Some occasionally do dishonest or self-serving things, as do the press.
However, most politicians have to do things to get elected, which has nothing to do with the public interest. Similarly, papers have to sell copy in order to exist. That does not serve the Public Interest, but merely Interests the Public.
The fact is, investigative journalism is rooted in the national press. They pay professional rates to staff journalists and have editiorial standards that the vast majority of "other sources" of news barely touch.
For the good side of journalism, I think newspapers are an essential part of the checks and balances of a free country. However, in order for papers to continue to exist, they need to publish sensationalist tripe. Sadly, the important stuff just doesn't sell.