It appears that the industry just isn't adapting to the times. First, they failed to compete with Craig's List and lost classified revenue; Second, in response, they laid off staff and let the quality of their product slide; and, Third, many have failed to develop an online format that will connect with their users. The future of the news looks like it will be a combination of Twitter feeds, email notifications, RSS, 2.0-style websites, and mobile-optimized websites. The biggies, have made most of the switches, of course, but clearly the time has come for local rags to develop local online content.
This all can't be that difficult to do, either. And, as Prof Glasser, rightly puts it, the importance of these enterprises are critical to an informed citizenry and a functioning democracy, so I am optimistic that news papers will keep pace and adapt. Just check out news organization iPhone Apps from USA Today and the BBC if you want to see part of the future. The Google News reader for iPhone is another app that is well-executed to feed users news, national, international AND local.
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