About a week ago, Time published an article predicting what major city newspapers will fold in 2009. The fact of the matter is, no major city can sustain having two daily papers anymore, and the down economy will only accelerate the death of the medium. My lament coincides with the last issue of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, which after today will be available online only. Other notable dailies are near their end, including the Philadelphia Daily News and the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, both of which have filed for Chapter 11 protection. While my hometown Chicago Tribune grows deeper in debt by the day, it's crosstown rival the Sun-Times has a smaller circulation and fewer resources and probably won't live to see the end of the year.
There are few things that I enjoy more than spending the weekend reading the Sunday papers. To me, that's where the future of the newspaper stands; in a world where news is available it happens, whether on cable TV or online or even on your cell phone, shifting the focus to feature articles and generating revenue via coupons and supplemental ads is the newspaper's most realistic shot at survival. Eschew the daily papers and focus on the weekends. Of course, that's all just wishful thinking; most of these publications are too proud to drop five or six days of the week from their regular deadlines. Another article by Time suggested that newspapers should introduce a fee for all their online content, like a flat monthly subscription or a rate of 5 cents per downloaded article, but I doubt most major papers will adapt to such a daedalian idea.
Other random notes:
+ I'm probably just as annoyed about the whole AIG thing as you are. The decision to give out bonuses --whether or not they were promised long before the bailout, or if the recipients were deserving-- was very poor timing. This is undeniable proof that our nation's banks are out of control, and that the last three presidential administrations have done little to control or regulate their actions.
+ Several months ago, I signed up for a fantasy hockey league and promised to update you on the status of my team. After a hot start, I quickly plummeted to fourth place (out of five) after a string of hair-brained and hair-trigger moves. Shortly after trading Markus Naslund for one of the Niedermeyer brothers at the deadline, I was able to inch my way back into third place, where I remain to this day. With the NHL season winding down (and two teams having already clinched playoff spots) I'm crossing my fingers for a decent finish.
+ As someone who's one-quarter Scots-Irish on my dad's side, let me wish you and yours a Happy St. Patrick's Day.