Michael Kinsley, writing in the Washington Post, steps forward into the what-happens-if-the-paper-dies debate. In his view, not much.
"If General Motors goes under, there will still be cars. And if the New York Times disappears, there will still be news," he writes.
He thinks papers will be more casual, opinionated and reader-participatory.
"But will there be a Baghdad bureau? Will there be resources to expose a future Watergate? Will you be able to get your news straight and not in an ideological fog of blogs? Yes, why not -- if there are customers for these things. There used to be enough customers in each of half a dozen American cities to support networks of bureaus around the world. Now the customers can come from around the world as well."
I hope Kinsley is just using some loose wording on what he calls the "customer." If he's talking about the "reader," then he'd find that there is insufficient support for almost all news media. Advertising comprises a majority of the revenue across most media. If he's asserting that the customer (reader) will draw along another customer (advertiser) through links or direct sponsorship, then he's on safer ground.