John Oliver took a look at the embattled state of American journalism last night, reminding us that local newspapers are crumbling, reporters are being turned into content-making automatons who spend their mornings reblogging satirical video clips, maniacal billionaires are taking over editorial meetings, and the supposed savior of it all is a rainbow infographic machine named TRONC. Oliver's conclusion: we're all hosed.

The twenty-minute clip opens with selections from the Oscar best picture-winning Spotlight, a film that tells the true story of how reporters at the Boston Globe uncovered a massive cover-up of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church. "One of the things that made Spotlight so powerful is the knowledge that the newspaper industry today is in big trouble," Oliver reminds us. "Papers have been closing and downsizing for years, and that affects all of us, even if you only get your news from Facebook, Google, Twitter, or Ariana Huffington's Blockquote Junction and Book Excerpt Clearinghouse."

With his giant apparatus of news aggregation running at full power, Oliver points out just how many TV news programs, including his own, depend upon the hard-won, unsexy reporting of local newspapers in order to structure their own broadcasts. Media in America is, as Oliver claims, a food chain, and without local papers doing investigative journalism, many elected officials and private industries will fall further into unchecked corruption. "While there are some great web outlets, some of which do cover local government, there aren't nearly enough to replace what's been lost," he rightly notes. "Not having reporters at government meetings is like a teacher leaving her room of seventh graders to supervise themselves."

The centerpiece of the Last Week Tonight segment is the beleaguered Tribune Media Company, which was sold to private investment tycoon/psychopath Sam Zell in 2008. Under Zell's leadership, newsrooms in Boston, Orlando, and Chicago became toxic work environments, and the company ultimately fell into bankruptcy. Since then, Tribune Company has rebranded itself as Tribune Online Content, aka...TRONC, a word that sounds just like "a stack of print newspapers being thrown into a dumpster." Just what the hell is TRONC and can it save online journalism? Watch the clip, decide for yourself, and maybe start paying for a newspaper subscription?