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The Atlantic’s Mark Bowden goes behind the scenes of Rupert Murdoch’s takeover of the Wall Street Journal and the analyzes the future of media as we know it. Print this out and read it on the metro ride home today.

Mark Bowden: Mr. Murdoch Goes to War (a few highlights):

When journalists worry about the decline of newspapers, this sort of seriousness is what they fear is being lost. The Internet is in many ways a superior medium for journalism. It costs virtually nothing, in contrast to multimillion-dollar printing presses, giant rolls of paper and tankers of ink, and fleets of delivery trucks, to say nothing of the thousands of laborers needed to operate the equipment and distribute the product. But while the Web is rapidly destroying the business model that sustained all of the above, it has yet to develop institutions capable of replacing print newspapers as vehicles for great in-depth journalism, or conscious of themselves as upholding a public trust. Instead, the Web gives voice to opinionated, unedited millions. In the digital world, ignorance and crudity share the platform with rigor and taste; the independent journalist shares the platform with spinmeisters and con artists. Cable television and satellite radio have taken broadcast journalism in the same direction, crowding out the once-dominant networks, which strove for the ideal of objectivity, with new channels that all but advertise their politics. When all news is spun, we live in a world of propaganda.

Bowden also looks at the dividing wall between editorial and business sides of newspapers and let’s us know what the reporters think of the people paying the bills.

(In my 20-plus years as a newspaper reporter, I was always amused when skeptics suggested that I wrote just what the newspaper’s owner told me to write. If only they knew how mightily the newsroom looked down its nose at the business side of the operation.)