'Ghosting The News' with Margaret Sullivan | Part One
UNDERREPORTED With Nicholas Lemann Podcast July 27, 2020
There was a time, and it wasn't that long ago when newspapers could easily have a 30% profit margin. Places like car dealers and grocery stores were able to get their message out. But then, the internet happened and kicked the legs out from under the entire business model.
Washington Post media critic Margaret Sullivan joins our podcast to talk about her first book, Ghosting the News: Local Journalism and the Crisis of American Democracy. The story Sullivan tells is not a happy one, but this is a book meant to give rise to hope, not despair. She points the way to solutions. That requires first taking a sobering and clear-eyed look at the problem.
In 2008, the U.S. Treasury put Fannie and Freddie into a life-support state known as “conservatorship” to prevent their failure—and worldwide economic chaos. The two companies, which were always controversial, have become a battleground. Today, Fannie and Freddie are profitable again but still in conservatorship. Their profits are being redirected toward reducing the federal deficit,… more