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State of the Debate
George Pyle
George Pyle has been a newspaper writer in Kansas, Utah, Upstate New York, and now Utah again, for more than 30 years - most of it as an editorial writer and columnist. Now on his second tour of duty on The Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board, he has also done a stretch as a talk radio host, published a book on the ongoing flaws of U.S.agricultural policy and, in 1998, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing. His most active bookmarks are Andrew Sullivan, Christopher Hitchens and Tina Brown. And he still thinks the Internet can be used for intelligent conversation and uplifting ideas.

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Another storm hits Na'Orleans ...

Above: The Times-Picayune abandons ship, partly. With music by The Tragically Hip.

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The big news in the news biz today:

- New digitally focused company launches this fall with beefed up online coverage; The Times-Picayune will move this fall to three printed papers a week - NOLA.com

... NOLA Media Group will significantly increase its online news-gathering efforts 24 hours a day, seven days a week, while offering enhanced printed newspapers on a schedule of three days a week. The newspaper will be home-delivered and sold in stores on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays only. ...

In other words, they will now do all the time what they did for three days after Hurricane Katrina struck The Big Easy in 2005.

Commentary online today is that generally, the Times-Picayune has been good in print, not so online, and so is gutting its strength to beef up its weakness. And that the New Orleans market is not among the most wired in the country, so relying on online distribution may be a bad bet.

But few other newspapers have had real world experience with moving online when print really failed. So perhaps New Orleans is the place to try this experiment.

New Orleans will now be the largest city in the country not to have a seven-day newspaper.

- Katrina Marked Turning Point for 'Times-Picayune' - David Folkenflick, NPR. 9/1/2007

And, I know you are wondering, what the heck is a Picayune?



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