Writing at The Daily Dish Conor Friedersdorf writes of the announcement that ESPN will be creating local outlets for sports news:
The disaggregation of newspaper content is an inevitability. Was there civic utility in the fact that a guy going for the sports page happened to see what his local mayor was up to by virtue of flipping through the sections? Sure, but that is a rather small matter. As I see it, “important” news is going to have to stand on its own going forward, and the challenge for those who care about journalism is to nudge the culture toward valuing it properly once the “subsidies” — the advertising and the sports section and style coverage and all the rest — aren’t available anymore. Will citizens appropriately value journalism that adds civic utility? I’m a pessimist, but one who thinks that time is best spent making the case that undervalued journalism is important, rather than trying to preserve a bundle that isn’t going to last much longer.
I think that Conor is right here. As more news organizations focus more heavily upon online distribution I think that they will realize that what draws so many to the internet is the ability to consume only the content that interests you. If a sports fan doesn’t care about the local mayor he can go to ESPN and not be distracted by local political coverage.