Readers React

Print journalism and the dumbing down of society

To the editor: In decades to come, Marisa Gerber's superb report on an L.A. newsstand may function as a historical artifact that illustrates what our society lost with the demise of print journalism. Gerber's apt observations add up to the displacement of substance by superficiality. ("A newsstand where the world still unfolds as print fades to black," July 7)

The Internet excels at making readily accessible an abundance of information. But it is provided in largely unvetted form, together with myriad titillating distractions; this enormous mishmash of information hardly prompts or encourages critical thinking.

Top-quality periodicals, by contrast, generally provide verified reports on pertinent topics, the kind of coherently compiled information that fosters focused thought.

It's difficult to imagine our democracy thriving with precious few citizens capable of critical thinking. That's where print journalism's continuing decline promises to leave us.

Christine Hagel, Orcutt, Calif.

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