Ann Arbor, MI – It was a pretty ordinary day in Ann Arbor. Sure, the city known as A2 to its friends had just lost its last daily paper after 174 years, but the folks from Time Magazine had an ace up their sleeves – they were reporting on the story from the future.
Ann Arbor in Michigan became the first sizable town in the US to lose its only daily newspaper late last month, when the Ann Arbor News followed the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and the Rocky Mountain News into bottom of the birdcage of destiny.
A2 News took the decision to replace the daily print title with a website – www.AnnArbor.com – and a twice weekly print title, also called AnnArbor.com, which will be published on Thursdays and Sundays. The staff of 316 has been slashed to 60 and although some journalists remain, the bulk of the content is now produced by 80 unpaid bloggers.
Time reports that the new site looks and reads more like a social media site than a newspaper and that there is little difference in the prominence of stories written by staff journalists and those contributed by members of the community.
But the most alarming development is the dateline on the Time story – Monday August 17. If anyone from the magazine is reading this, could they please let me have next week’s winning lottery numbers?