James Madison, the author of our First Amendment, described a free press as an essential bulwark of liberty.
Madison was right. Unfortunately, both our free press and our liberty are threatened today by the erosion of the advertising model that sustained newspapers and their coverage of public affairs for more than two centuries.
Nearly one-fourth of California newspapers have failed in the past 15 years. And about half the people who read newspapers at the start of this century no longer do so.