Spreading cancellations of Associated Press memberships could leave our premier international news service unable to maintain its breadth and quality. AP is the major source of international news in our daily papers and any diminution will degrade our already dismal understanding of events beyond our borders. About 100 papers gave two-year cancellation notices to the AP in recent weeks; whether they're negotiating ploys in a fee dispute or rethinking of news priorities is unclear.
A tenet of ethical reporting is to verify information not personally known to the reporter. That's true even if -- especially if -- a public official, a public figure or a syndicated columnist makes a claim of public concern.
First, some facts. Advertising supports most newspapers. Advertising in daily papers is slipping dangerously. Now, some thoughts. Dailies have been dying for decades, and the situation is similar for weeklies and "local" radio stations.