by Max Brantley
We once decried the loss of daily newspaper competitition in cities across America. Now the serious talk is of cities with NO daily newspapers. Major cities. Interesting article.
Without newspapers, the availability of news withers, if it doesn't disappear entirely. To the extent that news is provided by other outlets, TV, radio, etc., it is mostly republication of newspaper-generated content or, at a minimum, driven by guidance from the daily newspaper coverage decisions.
This is particularly true in Little Rock, still home, despite recent cuts, to a daily newspaper with a far larger staff and far more news pages than you'll find in comparable or even much larger cities.
I happen to think the presence here of relatively rich competing news reporting -- from four TV stations, public radio, one commercial radio station, a well-staffed wire service bureau, a competing Arkansas newspaper group, the Ark. Times,Ark. Business and even some young Internet-only outlets -- are encouraged, not discouraged, by a strong daily newspaper. There's a yen for news in this market developed by a strong newspaper. News sells. That verity has been forgotten in far too many cities.