• Ryan Doan-Nguyen


Image of Martha Minow's book 'Saving the News'

Carr Center Faculty Affiliate Martha Minow highlights how the declining investment in traditional news due to the internet affects democracy, in an interview with Harvard Magazine.

In an interview about her 2021 book Saving the News: Why the Constitution Calls for Government Action to Preserve Freedom of Speech, Minow explains that, due to the increasing use of digital news platforms that do not pay for news, and local news is declining. Combined with the rise of misinformation through digital platforms, the decline of the free press, which the Framers of the U.S. Constitution saw as intrinsic to self-government, is threatening our democracy.

Minow points to the misinformation around COVID vaccines as an example of the dangers that false information and digital gerrymandering pose to society. She wants to hold digital platforms (which are immune from liabilities that are attached to publications such as the Boston Globe) accountable.

She suggests that legal requirements to open up competition over middleware— the moderation of content in large platforms—would allow individuals to have control over the news that they are consuming. On an individual level, Minow advises consumers to be mindful of these issues, pay for news, expose themselves to opposing viewpoints, and demand action.

Read the full interview here.