The Press: Letting In the Public

"Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one." —Press Critic A.J. Liebling

For decades, that apothegm described a worsening problem in U.S. journalism. As ownership became increasingly concentrated, and increasingly distant from its audience, the opportunity shrank for dissenting views to see print. Now there are some healthy signs of change. Stung by charges of bias and myopia, many news executives are finding new ways to open their pages and air waves to the public.

Pressure for a change had been building for years. Critics of assorted persuasions attacked the press for being successively too passive...

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