Should Presidents Read Newspapers?

This was an intriguing question brought up at the HNN site. Here’s my response:

Leaders need to lead. Leaders need to provide a vision of the future to shape events. Newspapers can only report what’s already happened and speculate about what might come. From a leader’s perspective, a newspaper can only provide information about what the general newspaper reading public is getting.

Newspapers are not sources of information. They are conduits for certain types of information. They contain what publishers, through their editors, decide is ‘news’. If you read the major mainstream newspapers, you’ll find pretty much the same major stories.

If I were President of the United States of America I wouldn’t bother reading the newspaper. I’d be busy making news.

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