I would love to see someone cross-reference this chart with the number of newspapers in America since 1992:
That aversion to revealing unauthorized secrets is just one of the many intriguing conclusions from the online survey of more than 1,000 journalists who work across print, digital news, TV, and radio. The survey dates back more than 40 years, asking journalists a series of questions in 1971, 1982, 1992, 2002, and 2013, giving a good overview of the trends in the journalism culture and business.
One of the most surprising developments over that period over the past ten years, is the steep decline in the percentage of journalists who say that using confidential documents without permission "may be justified." That number has plummeted from about 78 percent in 2002 to just 58 percent in 2013. In 1992, it was over 80 percent.
I blame access journalism, where stories are "leaked" to media sources in return for what are basically press releases. Nobody wants to piss off a source, and in the age of synergy, the old line about how "newspapers should have no friends" has been forgotten. Everybody's friendly with everyone else now, and it's hurting the public's access to information.