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Letter sent on Feb 15

3 to read: Growing impact of news deserts | Wikipedia bans Daily Mail | Holding tight to print

By Matt Carroll <@MattCData>

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  1. What happens when a mid-sized city loses its paper: Spoiler alert: It’s not pretty. Take a case-study of Guelph, a Canadian city of 100,000, which lost its paper. Some other news sites have tried to fill the hole, but enterprise reporting clearly took a hit, say observers. A grim example of the growing news deserts. By Ricardo Bilton for Nieman Lab.
Image: Leigh Carroll (Instagram: @leighzaah)

2. Wikipedia bans Daily Mail — deserved rebuke or slippery slope?: The volunteer editors of Wikipedia banned the Daily Mail, the Brit rag that peddles “dubious, salacious and sensational” stories — and, occasionally, gets something right. Will Oremus of Slate argues this is a good thing because of the paper’s terrible reputation, even as he notes other bans of publications, notably one by a sub-Reddit that was much more controversial.

3. Holding on tight to print: Who doesn’t think that print is slowly dying?Well, media critic Jack Shafer of Politico keeps arguing that print is showing surprising strength — maybe it’s future is not so dark, after all. Which is a totally insane way to think, says Aron Pilhofer, a newly-minted journo prof at Temple, and formerly of The Guardian and the NYT. Retreating back to print isn’t just a bad idea — it’s suicide, he writes. An interesting read.

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Matt Carroll is a journalism professor at Northeastern University.

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