Chron Editor to Colbert: Jail News Freeloaders

Phil Bronstein talks fate of papers on Colbert Report

Phil Bronstein, editor-at-large and former executive editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, appeared on late night fake-news show The Colbert Report, to discuss the future of news with funnyman Stephen Colbert.

As to why you keep having to read news about the death of newspaper, Bronstein pointed out that "Journalists have been pretty concerned about this, probably more so than anyone else, because it affects them directly."

Bronstein added that without publications like the New York Times, Colbert wouldn't have the material he so deftly parodies.

As for offenders, the newsman said that "Google is not helping," and "the Huffington Post isn't paying money."

Though of course Bronstein still uses Google and writes a column (for free) for the Huffington Post.

When Colbert argued that when the music business was getting killed by the Internet, Apple stepped in with the iTunes store and built a successful business, Bronstein said the music business could take legal recourse against freeloaders.

He went on to jest, "Maybe we should have a jail term if people don't pay for their news."

Colbert still saw opportunity in the face of newsroom decline.

"If newspapers go away, are we about to enter a golden age of corruption? And is there any way I can make a buck off of that?"

Jackson West picked the wrong decade to start a career in the news business.

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