Sen. Landrieu on Times-Picayune: ‘Not having a daily print edition saddens me’

Poynter | Forbes.com | The Washington Post | Gambit
In a statement, U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) says The Times Picayune, which announced Thursday it would cease daily publication, “has narrated the New Orleans region’s story for more than 150 years.”

Its journalists’ dedication and professionalism have made our civic, business and education institutions stronger, more transparent and honest.

In the midst of Hurricane Katrina’s horrific aftermath, its courageous journalists and photojournalists provided reliable news when our region and nation needed it most.

To think of not having a daily print edition saddens me. However, New Orleans will always need a robust news gathering operation to provide us with accurate and balanced news. In whatever new form the Times-Picayune takes, that need will not change.

In a Forbes.com piece, contributor Micheline Maynard of Ann Arbor, Mich., writes about The Times-Picayune adopting a similar model to AnnArbor.com. She had this to say about what life is like for news consumers in her town:

No offense to its staff, but AnnArbor.com, online at least, is a constantly updated blog, which gives equal play to impaled cyclists and rabid skunks as it does to politics and crime. The printed edition is newspaper-like, but with a different style and less gravitas than its predecessor.

To round out what’s in or at AnnArbor.com, many of us turn to Twitter, which has been a vital tool in providing the sense of community and communication that our newspaper used to create. There are other sites, too, like the Ann Arbor Chronicle, and we can get some coverage of Ann Arbor from Detroit media.

Earlier this year, when tornadoes struck nearby Dexter, Mich., many of us relied on WXYZ-TV, which has a sophisticated social media network called the Backchannel. But we all ached for the days when the coverage would have been in the Ann Arbor News for days.

Erik Wemple writes that The Times-Picayune’s business plans may be a reasonable reaction to the vicious forces buffeting print newspapers, but the language that management used to announce them is not:

Strikes me that if you reallocate to accelerate, you necessitate more people, not fewer people. The memo rhetoric is just another variation on the we’re-going-to-do-more-with-less cant that fools no one and insults everyone, every time.

On Gambit’s blog post with Ashton Phelps Jr.’s memo, a commenter wondered about his assertion that the company will “begin publishing a more robust newspaper” on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays: “3 days a week makes for a more robust paper?” wrote commenter “Adrastos.”

Readers of a Times-Picayune story about the changes are not widely applauding the decision, in part because of the new, blog-style design of Nola.com. “So now it is pushing all of its resources to its weakest side. Go figure?” wrote commenter “maurepas.”

A quick scroll through Nola.com suggests that the triple-digit comments on that story are an unusual occurrence for the site.

And the Fake Times-Picayune Twitter account had some news of its own:

We have made it easy to comment on posts, however we require civility and encourage full names to that end (first initial, last name is OK). Please read our guidelines here before commenting.