Growing pains, part 2: Can grassroots journalism help underserved communities?

Part one – Life after death: newspapers and the re-invention of paper technology

While the newspaper industry struggles to find new definition in an Internet age, the population most at risk of being left behind is low-income communities. Local newspapers are suffering significant losses in the industry, and yet the medium is still heavily relied upon as a source of information for poorer areas where Internet access is minimal. Many of these communities are already under-served by the media, and as their newspapers disappear, the void is likely to widen. Eventually, these communities may benefit greatly from the communication tools the Internet and mobile news delivery will provide. But during this period of turbulence the digital divide could impede progress. In affected areas, the wealthy will be gaining a medium while the poor are losing one. Meanwhile, in areas with more universalized Internet access, impoverished communities will be given access to news on a scale never before extended by traditional media.

Community Journalism and Hyper-Local Markets

Communities in South Los Angeles have long been starved of media attention. Since the collapse of the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner in 1989, the newspaper industry in Los Angeles has been dominated by a single, powerful newspaper. The Los Angeles Times overshadows local newspapers such as the Los Angeles Wave and the Los Angeles Daily News, creating a monopoly on news coverage that favors broader stories over community-sensitive pieces. Stories from South Los Angeles are rare, and the Los Angeles Times has been criticized for limiting its coverage of the area to tragic or violent breaking news stories.

“The LA Times covers breaking news that they deem worth covering,” said Don Wanlass, news editor for the Los Angeles Wave, one of three newspapers based in South Los Angeles that makes an effort to cover news significant to residents in cities like Compton, Watts and Inglewood. “There’s a lot of sentiment out there that the Times only reports bad news, like political corruption scandals and shootings. They don’t go into the small communities and get some of the stories that are there to be had.”

In the mid-1990s, the Times established suburban sections, including the City Times section, as a response to the Los Angeles riots in 1992. It was partially due to the consistent lack of South L.A. coverage by the mainstream mass media that the riots were provoked, according to Henry Watson, a South L.A. resident and one of the “LA Four” responsible for beating a white truck driver almost to death on April 29, 1992. “April 29th allowed the world to come into South Central for the first time and take a look around and see,” said Watson.

The Los Angeles Times responded by attempting to bridge the information divide between L.A.’s diverse communities and extend conversation across cultural barriers. Since then, not only has the Times folded its suburban city sections, but it has also shut down its California section, folding its remaining local news into the “A” section of the paper. Watson says that lessened local coverage in the mainstream media inevitably breeds more tension in South Los Angeles. “The media only want to show the negative,” said Watson. “But they need to come here and see the positive.” It would not be inconceivable, he warned, for a repetition of the 1992 riots to emerge if South L.A. continues to be consistently ignored. Another resident, Tony Falley, says that the lack of balanced media attention has left the area to physically stagnate. “Our environment needs to be built up,” said Falley. “As far as Florence and Normandie, where the riots happened, we don’t have anything but the same stuff: a gas station and a liquor store.”

In some South L.A. cities, the Los Angeles Wave and other small community newspapers have attempted to fill the coverage gap, but declining circulation is threatening to destroy these smaller institutions faster than their national counterparts. “We try to cover the community the best way we can with the man power we have,” said Wanlass. “We have 21 cities and two reporters.”

Ironically, it is not for lack of reader interest that smaller newspapers are struggling. Although every traditional, offline news medium is suffering losses, a recent study of media consumption shows that local newspapers are more valuable to the public than national newspapers. Sixty-three percent of the public are still consuming local newspapers compared to 18 percent reading national dailies, according to the global public relations firm Ketchum. This makes local newspapers the second most valuable of the traditional journalistic mediums behind major network television, while national newspapers lag behind in 8th place. Local newspaper readership also reaches a wider age breadth, with 34 percent of people under the age of 24 reading community newspapers compared to 11 percent of the youth population reading national dailies. The disparity is dramatic in every age range, but perhaps the most extreme statistics are for the age range with the highest consumptive rate of national newspapers. A total of 26 percent of men and women between the age of 55 and 64 are dedicated to national newspapers, while 81 percent are reading local dailies.

In possession of a seemingly dependent readership, community newspapers have lost circulation at a slower pace than has, for example, the Los Angeles Times. The Daily Breeze, which serves South Bay Los Angeles, saw a 4 percent drop from September 2007 to September 2008, while the Los Angeles Times suffered a 5 percent cut in circulation. Another community newspaper, the Glendale News Press, saw a 3 percent decline, and the rural Antelope Valley Press, maintained its readership without loss.

But one of the major concerns for newspapers serving poorer communities, like the Los Angeles Wave, is the slow pace at which they are migrating into the virtual realm. Their online resources are minimal when compared to newspaper companies that serve more affluent parts of Los Angeles, and their readership still relies heavily on the print version of the newspaper. In South Los Angeles, in the urban, low-income areas that newspapers like the Los Angeles Wave serve, more than half of the residents do not have access to the Internet.

And yet, the Internet is the perfect medium for under-served communities craving attention. Already, local groups are finding ways to fill the historical media gap in their cities from the ground upward. “There are all kinds of blogs springing up in small cities,” said Wanless. “It’s becoming more and more a trend and way for people to keep up with what their city government is doing.” Blogs such as Lynwood Watch, which aggregates news from the city of Lynwood, have encouraged a new level of dialogue to emerge between residents. “It steers people to news they might not normally know is out there and encourages commentary,” Wanlass explained.

As a communication tool, the Internet has the potential to unite and integrate isolated communities with wider society and bypass some of the barriers traditional news organizations encounter, such as language. In Los Angeles, diverse cultures are alienated from the traditional media. “There’s a language barrier,” said Wanlass. “There are a lot of recent immigrants from Mexico and South America.” Not only are many of these immigrant communities cut off from media streams but, according to Wanlass, their isolation makes them more vulnerable to inaccurate or unreliable information. “They don’t speak English and they fear government intrusion,” said Wanlass. “They’re also willing to believe anything anybody tells them, and sometimes the rumors on the street aren’t always accurate.”

Being able to interact easily with one another in their own language could benefit these under-served communities greatly. In Lynwood, for example, the main form of communication is ground mail, and with so few reporters covering the area, lobbyists and politicians have seized the opportunity to exploit the lack of public awareness. In 2006, when the city government was contemplating a deal with a redevelopment agency to uproot thousands of families and build a football stadium, real estate agencies began mailing the community offering potential buy-out deals. According to one resident, some families sold their homes for fear of being evicted when the redevelopment agency took over. However, the deal with the agency was never completed. Instead, government officials were indicted for misappropriating public funds and the incomplete contract for development was overruled. Yet, a year after the indictment proceedings, Lynwood residents were still living in fear. The informational void had not only left the community “out of the loop,” but was seriously threatening their way of life. Families were contemplating selling their homes, and some already had, for lack of up-to-date news. Up to a year after the contract had been overthrown and the threat of a football stadium abolished, real estate agencies continued to play on public ignorance and scare them into quick sales.

The same thing happened during local government elections in 2007. Accurate information about the candidates was virtually non-existent, and instead, political action committees inundated the community with mudslinging campaign fliers. One candidate was accused of being a drug dealer. Another was accused of tax evasion and harboring illegal immigrants. Whether the accusations had basis in truth, it didn’t matter. Without a viable “watchdog” presence in the city, the uninhibited PACs could publish anything they wanted. Coupled with a lack of information from any other sources, these materials became the sole influencers in the campaign for much of the community. Unshakable rumors became ingrained in the public mindset, and still form much of the basis for opinion today.

Eventually, blogs may become a platform for under-served communities to create much-needed public dialogue, but until then, local newspapers remain the most important source of information for lower-income communities. Almost 50 percent of people with incomes lower than $25,000 rely on local newspapers as their main source of news, according to research by the Norman Lear Center at USC. Right now, Lynwood Watch is simply a news aggregation site, using newspapers like the Wave to provide content for users to comment on. Although it has been successful in encouraging more interaction between residents and local news topics, the site does not produce original content and much of the commentary is driven by rumors and bickering. The site is also controlled by a completely anonymous source. “The problem is that nobody knows who’s behind it,” said Wanlass. “You don’t know where they’re coming from or what their biases are.”

Grassroots Journalism

According to the blog search engine Technorati, a new blog is created every two seconds, bringing the running total in 2009 to more than 200 million individual blogs. One million blog posts are published across the world every day, and as the world of online publishing continues to flourish in accessibility and mass, a new species of journalist has emerged with it. The “citizen journalist,” belongs to no formal media outlet, has usually had little or no journalism training, but reports on the world he knows and self publishes his findings. Many mainstream media outlets have embraced this new journalistic democracy as a means of increasing the breadth of information. By syndicating reporting done by the general public, traditional media have access to a seemingly infinite store of content. Breaking news can be more fully reported immediately, thanks to photographs, video and information provided by “citizen journalists.”

“I think it’s marvellous,” said Geneva Overholser, director the journalism school at the University of Southern California. “The free press is a medium of democracy and involving people is terribly important. I like to believe in a collaborative, participatory process that will enrich the news report wherever you find it.”

Opinions vary as to the rights and qualifications of Citizen Journalists. Some, like Overholser, believe that the term “journalism” automatically assumes a certain set of ethics and practices. “What’s the point of calling someone a journalist unless they’re attempting to be reliable in their gathering of facts, attempting to present a picture as close to the truth as they can, and attempting to be transparent about their newsgathering, as well as making themselves accountable?” asked Overholser. But others say that any form of journalism, whether adhering to the formalized standards of most professional journalism or not, is better than nothing at all. “It’s just good that people are willing to participate in journalism and are interested in finding information,” said Marc Cooper, associate director of USC’s Institute for Justice and Journalism and former editor of The Huffington Post. “The more voices there are, the less oppression there will be.”

Catch-all websites, targeted at a more generalized audience in a way that emulates traditional mass media, will not replace disappearing newspapers. Instead, the future of community journalism lies with the citizens themselves. The “mass” in mass media is quickly vanishing and being replaced with niche markets and hyper-local news services. Newspapers hoping to migrate online will need to become hybrids of their former selves, involving the community they serve by opening up the news process with citizen journalists and becoming forums for public discourse. “Modern newsrooms have to engage in a never-ending conversation with their community, says Robert Legrand, contributor to the PBS and Knight Foundation-sponsored ideas lab, Media Shift. Community news coverage is fast becoming a two-way street, an intersection between those who tell the stories and those who live them.

Life after death: newspapers and the re-invention of paper technology

The threat underlying the transition to a paperless, Internet world is, in itself, ironic. Firstly, the illusive space of the online sphere is being filled with a cacophony of “voices,” many of which are echoing the content produced by the traditional media. The Internet speaks in a language of reaction; meanwhile, some of the catalysts themselves are being destroyed. Journalists are worried about the future of the profession, and the media industry is fearful of its own demise. Secondly, while information is exponentially increasing online, the first areas of journalism suffering the threat of extinction are among the very forms that attempt to make sense of extensive information. While sites like Twitter ask users to define their world in 140 characters or less, and speed – above accuracy or content – is the competitive force fueling online news outlets, some contextual, interpretive and analytical modes of journalism are fading away.

Investigative and literary journalism are among the forms in danger. Both rely on deep-dive reporting methods: the former usually tackling political and economic institutions and the latter focusing on sociological trends. As such, these long-form species fall into the category of “deeper understanding” and are a means of information management – a way to navigate – according to Barry Siegel, former national correspondent for the Los Angeles Times and head of the literary journalism program the University of California, Irvine. “I’d describe it as a form of subterranean news,” said Siegel. “We’re writing about human nature, the nature of our community, and about the things that are most important in those communities, which are not always the obvious breaking news headlines.” Literary journalism, which Tom Wolfe described as journalism that reads “like a novel,” concentrates on context above immediacy, and as a result, requires more time and resources than hard news. Siegel says that he spends four months to a year on his own pieces.

In a world of infinite information, it would seem that providing context is more relevant than ever. Investigative journalism, the detective agency of the people, has acted as a “watchdog” presence, independent of government and big business, since its inception. Literary journalism, often bundled with terms like “long form” and “feature,” has meant sociological understanding and on-the-ground experience of the human condition in all its varying colors.

Tightened revenue streams have encouraged quick fixes, such as re-assigning long-form journalists to cover “short-form” news and reducing funds for contextual reporting. But for the newspaper industry, this could be a counterproductive move. The entire experience of narrative story telling is changing, according to Sue Cross, an AP news executive who oversees the wire service’s digital operation. Video and audio are feeding the experience of long-form journalism online, and instead of attempting to emulate the speed of the Internet, the newspaper industry should be embracing the change and using technology to enhance deep-dive reporting. By cutting immersive journalism in favor of less expensive, superficial forms, the newspaper industry risks losing everything that has made it a valuable medium for 300 years.

Subterranean News

Newspaper companies are in consensus about the solution to all their problems: they must shed the cellulose pulp and find a way to make content work online. But perhaps forms like investigative and literary journalism, which both have roots in print technology, are more attached to their traditional medium than innovators would like to accept. At a very basic level, the connection between these journalistic forms and the technology from which they arose has been overlooked.

What both investigative and literary journalism have in common, beyond their immersive reporting practices, is the attention they require of their audience. Even more than investigative journalism, literary pieces ask for a level of dedication from the reader that the Internet as a medium does not seem to facilitate. “Thanks to the ubiquity of text on the Internet, not to mention the popularity of text-messaging on cell phones, we may well be reading more today than we did in the 1970s or 1980s, when television was our medium of choice,” Nicholas Carr examined in his July 2008 Atlantic article Is Google Making us Stupid? “But it’s a different kind of reading, and behind it lies a different kind of thinking.” This new style of reading is one based on productivity, gleaning as much information as effectively as possible. For Siegel, this newly formed habit poses a threat to journalism that requires more concentrated attention. “The bigger problem is that people in this instant age might be losing the ability and inclination for the kind of sustained, focused effort that long-form reading requires,” said Siegel.

The traditional print newspaper, as a medium, is especially at odds with this new style of information consumption. Compared to the multiplicity of the Internet, the technology of paper is a highly inefficient medium. Content is limited, and readers are trapped within the confines of the pages themselves, rather than being able to browse through various links and sources. The efficiency and expedience provided by the Internet are qualities well-suited to a medium of mass communication. Accessibility and expansiveness succeed in attracting the broadest audience. But in many respects, paper still serves as the best medium for “subterranean news.”

According to a study of online reading habits in the U.K. by University College London (UCL), Internet users do not read online the same way they do with print media. “There are signs that new forms of ‘reading’ are emerging as users ‘power browse’ horizontally through titles, contents pages and abstracts looking for quick wins,” the study surmised, adding: “it almost seems that they go online to avoid reading in the traditional sense.” This form of “horizontal information seeking,” as UCL labels it, is indicative of a medium that lends itself to quick and shallow information consumption. For journalistic forms that require patience, concentration and time, it would seem that the Internet is not as adequate a medium as print. By reading predominantly online, we “may be weakening our capacity for the kind of deep reading that emerged when an earlier technology, the printing press, made long and complex works of prose commonplace,” writes Carr, referring to the conclusions deduced by Tufts University psychologist Maryanne Wolf. “When we read online, [Wolf] says, we tend to become ‘mere decoders of information.’ Our ability to interpret text, to make the rich mental connections that form when we read deeply and without distraction, remains largely disengaged.”

While newspapers desperately struggle to compete with the Internet and breed their own online forms, the difference between the two mediums is being underplayed. The “horizontal” reading habits inspired by the Internet, coupled with the sheer volume of information available online, could potentially increase the need for printed, “subterranean” news. Long-form investigative and literary journalism, journalism that exists to “make sense of the world” on a deeper level, may be the answer to balancing the unmanageable amount of information unlocked by the Internet. And navigating information, learning context and studying deeper implications requires a level of reading concentration that only the print medium seems able to inspire. So while the newspaper industry attempts to shed its long-form content and emulate the Internet, the fact that sales of non-fiction books have been continually increasing seems to have gone unnoticed.

Traditional mediums are not being eliminated, but updated. Journalistic forms that appear to be disappearing, may just be trying to find a new comfort zone in a broadening landscape. In order for the print medium to do this successfully, it must embrace the qualities that make it unique, not similar, to other mediums. Paper is, after all, a technology. And after 300 years, competing mediums may be calling for a re-invention, rather than elimination, of the form.

A New Model

There is no telling what Timothy McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern will look like when it arrives in the mailbox or at the local book store. It could be a palm-sized journal made from ominous, grainy material with fold-out parts, complete with lock and key, or an epic piece of art with Asian patterns illuminating the broad jacket, a magnetic strip concealing dozens of tiny manuscripts. The quarterly literary journal, started in 1998 by author Dave Eggers, prides itself on utilizing the medium of paper in the most creative ways possible.

“I’ve always thought that if something is going to be on paper, if it’s going to be a physical object, it has to earn that existence and at least take into account the features and specifics of that existence,” said publisher Eli Horowitz. “But it’s not just preciousness; it’s also about taking advantage of things that you can do with paper. There are still things that you can do in a book that you can’t do on a computer screen.”

Rather than hastening the extinction of printed newspapers by moving attention away from the physical product to the online counterpart, Horowitz suggests that embracing the uniqueness of the paper form may serve to revive the industry. The future of print journalism is more likely to follow a philosophy closer to McSweeney’s than The Los Angeles Times. The literary journal survives solely on subscriptions and maintains a loyal readership, according to Horowitz. McSweeney’s also serves as a publishing house, selling books from affiliate authors through its website. Despite the competitive force of modern technology, such e-books and e-readers like the Kindle, the company continues to focus on producing high-quality, printed material. “We’re still trying to do things that the Kindle can’t give you,” said Horowitz. “Large things or folding things or cut-out things, things with textures… We’re always thinking: what are we making? What are the limitations? What are the possibilities?”

Creative printing options are spawning. One of the most exciting is the development of, which has the potential to turn the newspaper industry into a specification-based medium, like the Internet, without ceding its distinctive form. Currently, this on-demand printing service allows users to create their own books, free of charge. Every copy ordered through the website or through is printed on-demand and shipped to the consumer. The author earns 60 to 80 percent of the royalties for each sale, depending on whether the sale comes directly through or through

What businesses like suggest is that on-demand printing is a very tangible possibility for the future of print journalism. For example, a new model for the newspaper industry could include customized printing, which would allow readers to pre-order the sections of the newspaper they would like to receive, the types of articles they wish to read and even the frequency of the printed edition’s delivery, minimizing waste and maximizing niche markets. Taking the specifications even further, users could choose their content by author, thus selecting to donate royalties specifically to the content-provider rather than the publication. Journalists would then, in themselves, become commodities. Even advertising could become more effective in this environment. The traditional model of print advertising, preferred by many advertising agencies, could still apply to this customized publication, but readers would be receiving news in a similar manner to which they seek it on the Internet: by interest and not obligation. Advertisers, too, could target a much more specific audience based on the selections made by the user. The process could potentially fuse the best of both print and Internet technologies: the ability for customization and the delivery of content through a traditional medium.

In honor of the possibilities for the print journalism industry, the next issue of McSweeney’s, Eggers announced, will be in newspaper form. “The hope is that we can demonstrate that if you rework the newspaper model a bit, it can not only survive, but actually thrive,” wrote Eggers in an public email to anyone who needs “bucking up” about the industry. The future of newspapers, Eggers says, begins with “creating a physical object that doesn’t retreat, but instead luxuriates in the beauties of print.” The result will be a medium that not only allows space for the forms intrinsic to its centuries-long dominance, but that embraces a traditional economic model: using quality, not quantity, to encourage sales. “To survive, the newspaper, and the physical book, needs to set itself apart from the web,” said Eggers. “Physical forms of the written word need to offer a clear and different experience. And if they do, we believe, they will survive. Again, this is a time to roar back and assert and celebrate the beauty of the printed page. Give people something to fight for, and they will fight for it. Give something to pay for, and they’ll pay for it.”

View this article on A Day Like This.

Coming Wednesday: Growing pains, part 2: Can grassroots journalism help underserved communities?

How a 1995 court case kept the newspaper industry from competing online

This week, the United States Senate held a hearing on “The Future of Journalism”, prompted by the recent demise of two major U.S. newspapers. I won’t rehash the many, many arguments and theories put forth by so many people on this issue, save to note one that I am afraid might be slipping down the memory hole.

It should not surprise any OJR reader that I stand with those who blame newspaper management for the industry’s current woes, and not upon “the Internet,” Google or even the competition from all those new websites out there. (After all, those new websites have to compete with each other, too.) No, when confronted with the ride of the Internet, the newspaper industry’s owners and managers made a series of lamentable decisions that crippled the industry’s ability to engage and defeat its new competition.

The particular decision I wish to remind folks of today was the industry’s reaction to 1995 court case, one that prompted news managers across the country not only to dismiss opportunities to engage with their audiences online, but to directly order their employees not to do so.

Perhaps the (relative) old-timers among us will remember Stratton Oakmont v. Prodigy. That 1995 case pitted a New York securities firm against the Prodigy online service. The plaintiffs argued that an anonymous poster on a Prodigy discussion forum defamed the firm and its president by claiming that they committed fraud during the IPO of another company.

Ultimately, a court held that because Prodigy had hired “board leaders” to monitor the forum, that made Prodigy the “publisher” of the information, and, thus, responsible for it. The court noted a distinction with a previous, similar case involving CompuServe: In that case, CompuServe did not hire anyone to monitor its forum, so it was simply a conduit, not responsible for what people posted.

The lesson the newspaper industry took from the case? Forums and comments are okay… only if newspaper staff do not edit, or even read, them.

Stratton Oakmont v. Prodigy lasted just one year as precedent. The U.S. Congress, effectively, made the ruling moot the next year with its passage of the Communications Decency Act of 1996. The CDA created a “Good Samaritan” exception that prevented people and businesses who hosted discussion forums from being treated as the “publisher” of information provided by participants on that forum.

But risk-averse newsroom and website managers weren’t persuaded. They continued to insist that their papers could be held liable for any defamatory statements made by readers on their website if newspaper staffers engaged in or managed those discussions. I heard that message from other employees at chains where I worked, as well at several industry conferences, in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

And with the guards pulled off duty, the crackpots moved in.

Few understood then, but the stakes were higher that the viability of message forums and comment boards on newspaper websites. The chilling effect of the Stratton Oakmont decision kept newspaper staffs from engaging with audiences (and potential sources) on the Internet at the precise moment when thousands of new Web communities were evolving, building relationships with those online readers that newspapers were choosing to ignore.

With no one from the paper engaging them at many newspaper-dot-coms, responsible folk looking for a conversation soon departed. And with no one from the paper to stop them, the cranks had an open forum in which to scream. Newspaper forums and comment boards were not communities, hosted by a trusted voice within the community. They were a blank wall, a virtual representation of a faceless institution. They weren’t your neighbor. They were “The Man.”

Little wonder so many frustrated, disempowered readers rebelled. And, worse, that so many smart voices simply clicked elsewhere to speak.

While many newspapers ignored their comments boards and forums, or shut them down, competing communities emerged. The most notable, Craigslist, ultimately helped destroy the newspaper industry’s highly profitable classified advertising business. But thousands of other niche topical and community forums demonstrated that the local newspaper would no longer be the best source for daily information on the issues and activities that readers held dear.

I can only guess why so many newspaper managers were eager to act upon Stratton Oakmont and slow to embrace the CDA. I suspect that some wished that Stratton Oakmont had held – it would have absolved the newspaper industry of the need to embrace interactivity online, and could have led to potential, reader-driven competitors being sued into oblivion. How convenient that future would have been to the newspaper business.

So when newspaper managers bemoan the poor quality of their user-generated content, blaming crude and offensive readers, please remember that the industry had the same chance that everyone else did to engage readers responsibly. And that the industry, for the most part, demurred.

Yes, some papers did the right thing. But not enough to create a critical mass that would have led the U.S. public to see newspapers as the best place to go online for interactive communities.

Nor was the failure to engage the audience online the only factor in the news industry’s decline. Conservative politicians for a generation have been encouraging their followers to disengage from newspapers. The Do-Not-Call list kept newspapers from using incessant telemarketing to keep ahead of high churn rates. Passionless, “he said, she said” reporting turned off readers looking for a source of truth amid the Internet’s deluge of information.

But how much stronger could the newspaper industry have been had more of its leaders decided in 1996 not to withdraw, but to engage? Plenty of employees within the industry urged just that. But fear of Stratton Oakmont ruled the day. And the decade.

The Internet did not make newspaper oblivion inevitable. Witness how Microsoft responded to the same threat, parlaying its market dominance in operating systems and desktop software into dominance in the Web browser market, protecting Microsoft’s market share for another decade. (Yeah, the government sued Microsoft, but the firm stood its ground and, ultimately, didn’t have to give up nearly as much as it would have lost had it allowed Netscape to continue dominating the browser market, thus potentially undermining Microsoft’s position in other markets.)

Vibrant online newspaper communities could have strangled competitors like Craigslist in their virtual cribs… if newspaper managers had not called off their online innovators. That missed opportunity is the newspaper industry’s fault. And no one else’s.