Wall Street has little use for quality journalism, the glory days for most newspapers are behind them and the Bay Area may be on the verge of an unprecedented media monopoly — those are the conclusions of John McManus (pictured), a former reporter, journalism professor and most recently executive director of gradethenews.org, which is scaling back after losing its funding. In an op-ed in Friday’s Chronicle, McManus points out that technology is providing serious competition to traditional newspapers in both the newsroom and the ad department. He also voices his concerns about the liklihood that MediaNews, the company headed by Dean Singleton, will dominate the Bay Area newspaper business if allowed to buy Knight Ridder’s local newspapers, including the Mercury News, Contra Costa Times, Palo Alto Daily News Group and Monterey Herald. “Imagine one grocery chain operating all of the outlets surrounding San Francisco. There would be no incentive to compete on either price or quality,” McManus writes. “But news is a commodity like no other. It’s the only product with the power to define reality. That power is magnified when multiple newspapers speak with a single voice.”

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