How the Times makes local papers dumber.

Media criticism.
July 27 2006 7:12 PM

How the New York Times Makes Local Papers Dumber

That's only a slight exaggeration.

(Continued from Page 1)

Never mind Times print expansion for a moment. What about the great Web incursion, which is looting educated readers from local newspapers everywhere? The Web editions of the Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Time, CNN, the Guardian, and many other news sites appeal to the same demographic that defects to the Times. And the Web isn't the only invasive media species stealing local audiences. Since I bought a DVR, I've whittled my video news consumption down to the BBC World News at the expense of local TV news.

I put my question to Waldfogel, who agrees that the Web and cable put similar pressures on local papers. Maybe I should change my headline to: "How the New York Times and the Web (Especially Slate) Make Local Newspapers Dumber While Spreading Ignorance and Apathy."

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I fully expect to hear from readers of dumb-downed newspapers. Send e-mail to slate.pressbox@gmail.com. (E-mail may be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.)

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Jack Shafer was Slate's editor at large. You can follow him on Twitter or email him at Shafer.Reuters@gmail.com.

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