About Me

  • I've spent more than 25 years at the intersection of traditional and digital journalism. I've helped to invent ways to read and interact with the news and advertising on computer screens and iPads, and before that, I wrote news stories on typewriters and six-ply paper. I co-founded WashingtonPost.com and hyperlocal pioneers Backfence.com and GrowthSpur; served as editor of Philly.com; taught media entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland; and have done product-development and strategy consulting for all sorts of media and Internet companies and startups. You can read more about me here.

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December 11, 2008


Howard Witt

Mr. Potts,
You posit, in your scenario of what happens to a major American city ("Whoville") when its daily newspaper folds, that the newspaper's demise wouldn't ultimately make much difference and that the hole would soon be filled by myriad other bloggers, suburban newspapers, local TV stations, etc.
I suggest you update that scenario by imaging this week's stunning Blagojevich story in Chicago if the Chicago Tribune didn't exist. Oh, that's right--there wouldn't have *been* this week's stunning Blagojevich story if the Tribune hadn't been relentlessly probing the governor's suspicious dealings for the last two years--coverage that relentlessly documented the unfolding federal investigation and in turn, apparently, drove the governor to such distraction that his wild excesses proved to be his ultimate demise.
I can't begin to imagine any combination of pajama'ed bloggers, blow-dried TV news reporters or anonymous Craigslist posters that could have achieved similar results.
Howard Witt

A reader

Come on. The Tribune got Blago arrested? I don't think so. I think Fitzgerald got Blago arrested.

JD Mullane

The Trib wouldn't even print the Blago story, at Fitzgerald's request.

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