The New Yorker is running a long and thoughtful piece by Eric Alterman on the death and life of the American newspaper. It's not news that newspapers are dying, but the acceleration of the process in the last few years is startling: "Independent, publicly traded American newspapers have lost forty-two per cent of their market value in the past three years... The columnist Molly Ivins complained, shortly before her death, that the newspaper companies' solution to their problem was to make 'our product smaller and less helpful and less interesting.'" The article goes on to profile The Huffington Post as exemplar of what is replacing paper and ink. "The Huffington Post's editorial processes are based on what Peretti has named the 'mullet strategy.' ('Business up front, party in the back' is how his trend-spotting site BuzzFeed glosses it.) 'User-generated content is all the rage, but most of it totally sucks,' Peretti says. The mullet strategy invites users to 'argue and vent on the secondary pages, but professional editors keep the front page looking sharp.
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