"The great misfortune of newspapers in this era is that they were such a good idea for such a long time that people felt the newspaper business model was part of a deep truth about the world, rather than just the way things happened to be. It's like the fall of communism, where a lot of the eastern European satellite states had an easier time because there were still people alive who remembered life before the Soviet Union - nobody in Russia remembered it. Newspaper people are like Russians, in a way," - Clay Shirky, the Guardian.
Meanwhile, my colleague Michael Hirschorn has a must-read piece on how the NYT could possibly survive the next few years. It's a grim set of options.
For my part, I really hope the dead-tree edition doesn't die. I'm an early adopter of techy shit and was blogging for years before most people knew what a blog was. But every morning, I still take an hour with the dead-tree NYT, some fresh coffee and a box of ginger snaps. It's a ritual I've maintained for twenty years, but actually feel more grateful for now in the age of the web than before. There is something deeply precious about letting expert editors guide you through the news of the day. I find and read stories serendipitously I would never find online. And I read them through because I trust the editors to have done their job. Yes, you wince and splutter from time to time. But most of the time, even the NYT's critics will concede they also learn a huge amount. Under Bill Keller, I have fallen in love with the paper all over again. And I hope they figure out a way to keep it afloat.
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