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We Serve the Public Interest
Thank you for inviting me to the Clinton School of Public Service. It's a pleasure to be here. That you ARE a school of public service is why I want to discuss with you the public service role of the mainstream media, particularly newspapers.
Many people, perhaps many of you, would not associate public service with large media corporations. Some of those companies are owned by shareholders. Their aim is to make a profit. And many of them, like the one that owns my newspaper, have long been regarded as the media elite.
Where in all of that is the public service?
We in newspapers, and the mainstream media overall, appear to be well out of fashion and out of favor. We are often told-bluntly, gleefully-how we are the past, not the future. Some see us as a menace, an unnecessary intermediary with our own agenda, and an obstacle in the path of truth.
And let's face it. We are unloved: Our public image is awful, humiliatingly so.