Mid-90s Seeds of Newspaper Demise

I don’t completely agree with some of the leaps that Robert Niles makes in two recent OJR posts.  But they’re damned thought-provoking.

The first is about how the 1995 court case Stratton Oakmont v. Prodigy chilled newspapers into following their conservative instincts, even thought they were granted a safe harbor by the Communications Decency Act the following year.

The second is an even more jaw dropping assertion that if newspapers had only kept live links to archived stories–and not put them behind paywalls–Google algorithms would ultimately have elevated ‘paper sites to the top of the SEO heap rather than drowning them.

They’re quick reads, and both very worthwhile.


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