Jack Shafer weighs in with a column on how newspapers no longer have the corner on social currency. His view --- that what the paper once did exclusively to provide people with talking points for a day, no longer is its preserve in the everyone-has-everything digital age --- is reminiscent of the Newspaper Next project findings of a year ago. That report noted how the local paper served a community's knowledge needs, but that other players have come to soak up those needs and find new needs --- ergo, the paper has to go find some new needs and serve them.
What Slate's Shafer and others are saying is that it's not necessarily the journalism that's hurting, but the arrival of others to do many of the same things. Which leaves him, and others, without an easy answer on what's next.