The best story on the newspaper saga so far is Mark Bowden's article in the Atlantic. This qualifies as literature, and I'm not being ironic:
He may be awful, but he is rich and awful, smart and awful, powerful and awful, and while he may well be crazy to still believe in the future of print, he is determined and crazy. Murdoch might be the last person The Journal would have chosen as its savior, but newspapers may well be down to last hopes.
My only objection is this next paragraph, the apparently obligatory hand-wringing about the the demise of objectivity as if it were a 20th century dinosaur struck low by asteroid Murdoch. Sigh.
Instead, the Web gives voice to opinionated, unedited millions. In the digital world, ignorance and crudity share the platform with rigor and taste; the independent journalist shares the platform with spinmeisters and con artists. Cable television and satellite radio have taken broadcast journalism in the same direction, crowding out the once-dominant networks, which strove for the ideal of objectivity, with new channels that all but advertise their politics. When all news is spun, we live in a world of propaganda.
This (the weakest) section suggests that consumers cannot distinguish signal from noise, that they have no taste. A short introduction to the choices in the neighborhood grocery aisle might be in order, or any of these by Virginia Postrel.
But the larger issue that Bowden hints at is this: reputation matters, now more than ever. Does this carry over to the net? Consider Rapleaf. Or check this story in WIRED. Will bloggers neglect to seek the objective truth? Ask Dan Rather. Finally, has this guy not heard of the Discovery channel, C-Span, or Animal Planet? All spin, Mark?
Now back to Bowden's 99% excellent essay:
It would be hard to imagine Murdoch coloring TheJournal’s crisply intelligent editorial pages any more conservative than they already are. But he can expand the number of pages devoted to opinion, as he has already done, and he can build TheJournal into a more general newspaper, broadening its coverage into the arts, religion, education, sports, and politics—areas where TheTimes is the dominant tastemaker and trendsetter. Murdoch sees TheTimes not just as a paper with primarily liberal politics but as a bastion of cultural elitism that wields a disproportionate influence over all aspects of American life. He wants his Journal to reflect another point of view, and to give people another choice.