Richard Tofel, an author and former assistant publisher of the Wall Street Journal, has outlined his ideal qualities for the newspaper.
They largely fall into the category of contextual content and within a 32-page frame (anything more, he suggests, we don't have time for). He suggests much of the newspaper today is material already absorbed or readily absorbed. Anything more than a paragraph summary should be analytical.
He says a question needs to be asked: Has anyone not heard already of a story but might still care about it? If not, move on.
What's more, he suggests a decisively harsh approach for columnists. If they haven't demonstrated a clear reader connection after a year, turf them. He argues all of a newspaper's content needs to be re-evaluated in a zero-based audit of sorts.