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Opening Arguments

Another one bites the dust

New Orleans is about to become the first major American city without a daily newspaper -- The Times-Picayune will shift to a three-day-only publication with Web updates the rest of the week. Interesting observation:

Though conservatives may experience some schadenfreude at the prospect of no-newspaper towns, we’re going to miss them when they’re gone.

What happens, the writer asks, when the watchdogs are gone? "Bloggers and weeklies of various stripes can pick up some of the slack of the disappearance of newspapers, but not all of it, because they just haven’t been able to generate the kind of revenue it takes to hire people to cover the school board and zoning commission meetings, meaning lots more people are going to get away with lots of stuff they shouldn’t be doing."

All the threads being dropped will eventually be picked up and woven back together -- there are people out there who will figure out how to get the news to us and get paid for it. But there will be some unsettling times as the quickly evolving communications-revolution landscape keeps shifting.