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JISHOU, HUNAN — I read tonight that Editor & Publisher, which has been the unofficial watchdog of the U.S. newspaper industry for 108 years, is going bye-bye.

E&P was indispensable reading for us (former and present) newspaper types, even if we were only reading the classified for jobs or getting our jollies from the headline bloopers on the last page of the magazine.

The trade journal is a casualty of corporate media conglomerates, who value profit over service. E&P’s owner, The Neilson Group, is selling off some of its publications to new owners, but axing E&P completely. Journalists are protesting the move, but who knows if protests will succeed in saving Editor & Publisher.

Like the Columbia Journalism Review, E&P critiqued the newspaper trade, and especially noted the media’s servile role during the Bush administration, where it seemed most newspapers were just doing PR for the White House instead of questioning it.

Some allege that E&P’s tendency to criticize the Bush administration and point out corporate media’s dearth of fact-checking may have led to its demise.

This is as depressing as Rupert Murdoch buying The Wall Street Journal.