The Atlantic has posed the question: What if The New York Times disappears?
It examines the financial challenges for the paper, and by extension it looks at the U.S. newspaper industry and the cultural implications of losing the daily civilized ritual of the paper.
It suggests 80 per cent of the Times staff would lose jobs but find themselves at emerging and developing sites like Huffington Post or Talking Points Memo. It points to the Web-only Times reaching out to wider contributors with its standards.
Writer Michael Hirschorn puts another form of blame at the Times' feet: The dumbing down of the paper with "fluff" that devalued the institution.