Saturday, December 27, 2008

2009 will be pivotal for the local newspaper, one way or another

Mary Morgan writes:

It’s hard to argue against more local coverage. Yet it prompts the question: does this just mean more local relative to non-local content, or does it mean more local coverage in absolute terms? The staff of the (Ann Arbor News) newsroom, during my 12 years there, at least, has been focused exclusively on covering local people, issues, and events. The state, national and international news was picked up through wires services that The News subscribes to. If we see a reduction in wire-service content – not an unreasonable move given that these are costly services – then of course we’ll get “more” local content, relative to everything else. But providing “more” local content in absolute terms requires the folks who’ve always worked exclusively to provide local coverage to provide even more of it.

The brute reality is that there will be fewer people in the newsroom after the buyouts. So how can there be more local news in the paper if there are fewer people to do the reporting?

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