Kinsley to Newspapers: Drop Dead

Seattle resident Michael Kinsley, writing in The New York Times, now also weighs in on the fate of the newspaper biz. He doesn't like the idea of micropayments, floated by his old Time magazine colleague Walter Isaacson. He loves the UK's Guardian Web site, which charges readers nothing. And he loves the idea of "competition" smashing the old news "monopoly."

Okay, fine. But having failed miserably four years ago in his efforts to help the failing Los Angeles Times (turns out it was hard to control citizen editorial writers from the Web), Kinsley offers no more profound an opinion than this: "The harsh truth is that the typical American newspaper is an anachronism." And this: "When the recession ends, advertising will come back, with fewer places to go." And finally this: "With even half a dozen papers, the American newspaper industry will be more competitive than it was when there were hundreds. Competition will keep the Baghdad bureaus open and the investigative units stoked with dudgeon." Right. Anyone care to pay their own way to write for the West Baghdad Blog? (Helmet and flak-jacket not included.) I'm looking at you, Mike.

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