Looking forward to the future of journalism

A sliver of hope for the New Orleans Times-Picayune? Only if spin is true

As corporate honchos try to paint a rosy picture about the New Orleans Times-Picayune downsizing and no longer publishing a daily print edition, I hope this nugget from the newspaper’s editor, Jim Amoss, is more than corporate spin:

Plans call for the Wednesday, Friday and Sunday editions of The Times-Picayune to be in many ways more robust than each of the daily newspapers is currently. They will contain a richer and deeper news, sports and entertainment report, as well as a full week’s worth of features such as society coverage, puzzles and comics.

Times-Picayune Newspaper, photo by CanadaGood on FlickrOne of the problems facing newspapers is that publishing every day is a blessing and a curse. If it’s a slow news day, you still have to go to press. The result: Some days, newspapers really shine. Other days, not so much. Readers have to decide whether that kind of inconsistency is worth the trouble — and money.

So in an ideal world, shedding the demands of the daily news beast could result in print editions that consistently offer substance and depth, while the website would handle breaking news, blogging and everything else a newspaper should be doing online.

Related: Express-News reader sees the future of news?

I hope that happens. Talented journalists work at the Times-Picayune — it won a Pulitzer Prize for its important coverage of Hurricane Katrina. But the odds don’t look good.

Micheline Maynard looked at what happened to the Ann Arbor, Mich paper that tried the same thing as the Times-Picayune and wasn’t impressed. John McQuaid examined the Times-Picayune’s suddenly very crucial website and found it wanting.

I hope the corporate spin coming out of New Orleans becomes a reality. That city deserve no less.

(Photo credit: CanadaGood on Flickr)