[N]o one has figured out how to pay for hard news. Hard news stories take a great deal of time to write--more time than most amateurs can afford, which is why blogs tend to do opinion rather than journalism. Moreover, they are at least greatly improved when their authors are not worried about losing their jobs if what they write pisses off a local power broker. This is a genuine loss for the American public. Cities without newspapers seem to experience a sizeable increase in insider self-dealing and other forms of corruption--one theory as to why the Federal government is less corrupt than state and local governments is simply that it's more thoroughly covered by the press. I am second to none in my appreciation of new media and its possibilities. But so far, it has proven more effective as a complement to old media than a replacement.