Motivated by the current (2011) political climate in Wisconsin it seems reasonable to devote some time and effort to comment on issues and some of the hyperbole. So we in the public should do what we can to help focus "journalists" on delineating real facts versus spin. If you accept the spin you do not understand the policy implications.
"... There are plenty of ways today to pay little—or nothing—to read the news. There are free blogs. There's Facebook and Twitter. Who needs a subscription to a local newspaper?
Millions of Americans have decided they don't. But new research suggests this strategy may have costs in the long run. That's because newspapers are not like most things we buy. If you decide not to buy a watch or a cappuccino, you save money. But if you decide not to pay for a police department, you might save money in the short run, but end up paying more in the long run.
Whereas most of us treat newspapers like consumer products, new research from Paul Gao, Chang Lee, and Dermot Murphy suggests that they might be more like police departments. Gao, Lee, and Murphy looked at how newspaper closures might affect the cost of borrowing in local governments. What they found is a price tag that may give many taxpayers sticker shock.
... Hidden Brain, we look at an unusual case of a free-rider problem. And we ask, who bears the cost when nobody wants to pay?"