If newspapers were to truly fail across our society -- and most probably this next year will be crucial -- we will have no guardians of the little truths that keep societies sane, we will have no daily history of where our society has been, where it is and where it is going, we will have no institutions to force our attention to the wide variety of issues facing us and not just the ones we would choose on the Net.
She makes the nice point that most Internet reporters are people with some crank to turn. Read the whole thing here, and for lagniappe read the two columns following this one [just click on 'next date' at the top].
We used to be able to read Geyer in the Vicad, and my wife, genuinely wondering, forwarded to the editor a link to the Geyer column along with a note asking why we no longer get Geyer. He responded that local reader input – guest columns, letters and such – was taking the space and was more important for a paper like ours. Today, the Sunday ed page had two Ruben Navarrette columns [Navarrette doggedly harps on only one theme, over and over, favoring something very like open borders with Mexico and, please, a little more guilt from you vile racists who resist the idea] and a column by Andres Oppenheimer. Nice to have that local input. Geyer's right that this next year will likely be crucial to newspapers' survival; I'm not optimistic about our paper's chances.