If you think newspapers are dead or dying, let me suggest a few places to take a pulse.
Try former Florida House Speaker Ray Sansom, a man who didn't believe newspapers had any power left until the St. Petersburg Times started looking at the new job he accepted on the same day he assumed office as speaker. Cleared of state criminal charges after being forced from office, Sansom now out of public office, awaits the conclusion of a federal grand jury investigation in Pensacola.
Or talk to the judges at the 1st District Court of Appeal, the folks who gave us a $50-million courthouse commonly known around the state as the "Taj Mahal.'' One of those judges is facing charges that could remove him from the bench, and the act of building a courthouse filled with granite and mahogany has become a symbol of excess in tight budget times.
Or talk to those around Gov. Rick Scott, the new governor who initially refused to talk to newspaper editorial boards and shied away from serious interviews with print reporters for his first 8 months in office. Ask them how that worked out for him.
Newspaper investigations of the insurance industry, crooked politicians, spendthrift political party officials and phony fundraising organizations for veterans are among the many news stories that began with good solid reporting in Florida papers. Indeed virtually all serious investigative news reports have surfaced first in the print press.
On the National front the New York Times and Washington Po