I am interested in what is going on in the Ann Arbor area and consequently I scour the local media pretty thoroughly on a regular basis, reading in print: “The Ann Arbor Observer,” “The Metro Times,” “Between the Lines,” “Current” and whatever other free papers I find around town. And online I read: “The Ann Arbor News” “Arbor Update,” and now “The Ann Arbor Chronicle.” Now, it seems that the News wants to change its ways and become more focussed on the local news, a role now being quite well played by the new Chronicle, and to emphasize the online aspects of keeping abreast with what is occurring in our town and surrounding areas. The editor of the News, in fact, wrote in an editorial on Sunday that he requests input as to what readers want to see in the paper. In reply to his editorial (I usually read all the commentary and blogs, as well), he received quite a bit of constructive criticism about the mlive.com website, which is not easy to negotiate, although it has become a little more organized and aesthetically pleasing lately. Respondents wrote both in the News blogs and in a Chronicle column. Of course, it goes without saying that the current economy is a huge factor in stimulating this desire for change on the part of the local media, but it seems very obvious that ordinary, everyday people’s habits are changing, too, perhaps because they have become used to the ability to blog and comment and they want to maintain and expand this feature, thus having even more say in how the news is presented and even what it consists of. And, the corollary to this theory is that online is the way to go. I personally am staying tuned for even more changes in our local media.

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