Dying Journalism and Deadly Water

Flint is a preview of a world where accountability is no longer profitable

The water in Flint was so bad that parents bathed their kids in bottled water to avoid rashes. How were officials able to dismiss their complaints for almost a year and a half?

Massive layoffs

The Flint Journal is the only newspaper in Flint, Michigan.

Failed at critical election reporting

One might ask — maybe they just didn’t need that many people? I doubt it. During an election in 2013, the Flint Journal failed to report that a contender for city council had served for 19 years in prison after being convicted for murder.

Newspaper or marketing company?

This is the company that now controls the Flint Journal (and many other regional newspapers).

(images and video removed)

What does this mean for accountability everywhere?

In the case of the Flint water crisis, many, many people were directly affected. It still took more than a year of brown undrinkable water coming out of local faucets for anything to change. Could this have been reduced if Flint had more resources for journalism?

Founder of the Thoughtful Technology Project & GMF non-res fellow. Prev Tow fellow & Chief Technologist @ Center for Social Media Responsibility. av@aviv.me

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