Print Evaporates

Rod Dreher notes the shift of the Times-Picayune to a three-day schedule, per the Grand Rapids Press and MLive.

The cost of creating and distributing newspapers on newsprint makes them increasingly unviable as a business. This is the fault of changing technology and changing habits.

Newhouse did the same to the Times Picayune sister papers in Michigan. The business difficulty is that we are in a transition to new, digital financial models. Frankly, these are not worked out, save for fewer employees. At a community level, this is more troubling since the traditional oversight functions of newspapers gets pushed to the margins. When civic life becomes more opaque, when we are more in the dark, public activity and participation become threatened.

The other side is that shrinkage of coverage of all kinds opens the door to varieties of  new media outlets, a door-opening that will swing wider once financial models are better understood.

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