When I was in high school, my social studies teachers made sure that we knew how to fold the New York Times, in eighths, so that we could comfortably sit on the subway, or commuter train, and read the paper without making our neighbors uncomfortable. Yes, in the New York suburbs, that remains a useful skill.
Today I really felt that those days were gone. Or not--I will be subscribing to the New York Times (but I don't have a subway to ride). I will also be supporting the local news at the NPR affiliates, and the Ann Arbor Chronicle too.
I do like to sit down and read a newspaper, even though I also glance at the headlines on the computer. I also read a few blogs--but I don't rely on them for news. How much time can I spend on the computer?
More to the point, I don't think that bloggers like me (a.k.a. people with kids, jobs, and other hobbies in our lives) can approach comprehensive, in-depth reporting. For instance, someone today wanted to know if I had been to the Open Education Conference, and what did I think of Deborah Meier? Well, I didn't go. I had out of town guests, and the usual amount of carpooling, and the hope of planting a garden this spring. [I will, as I note below, happily post a summary of the conference if someone who did go wants to share it.] There are also a whole list of other meetings I didn't go to over the last few weeks--although I was able to tell you that they were going to happen. This blog is generally more like the editorial pages than it is news. And I'm not apologizing for that, either.
Where the Ann Arbor News went wrong was in thinking that the newspaper should cover summaries of global news. After all, I can get that at the BBC News site. What I can't get from the BBC News, however, is how the Huron women's soccer team did in the state finals; a summary of the discussion at the Ypsilanti school board meeting; or a comparison of local teacher salaries. Those require reporting. After 174 years (that's how long the Ann Arbor News has been around) I sure hope we continue to find some.