That is what real revolutions are like. The old stuff gets broken faster than the new stuff is put in its place.
Clay is often brilliant – this is one of those essays.
The curious thing about the various plans hatched in the â€™90s is that they were, at base, all the same plan: â€œHereâ€™s how weâ€™re going to preserve the old forms of organization in a world of cheap perfect copies!â€ The details differed, but the core assumption behind all imagined outcomes (save the unthinkable one) was that the organizational form of the newspaper, as a general-purpose vehicle for publishing a variety of news and opinion, was basically sound, and only needed a digital facelift. As a result, the conversation has degenerated into the enthusiastic grasping at straws, pursued by skeptical responses.
Round and round this goes, with the people committed to saving newspapers demanding to know â€œIf the old model is broken, what will work in its place?â€ To which the answer is: Nothing. Nothing will work. There is no general model for newspapers to replace the one the internet just broke.
…â€œYouâ€™re gonna miss us when weâ€™re gone!â€ has never been much of a business model. So who covers all that news if some significant fraction of the currently employed newspaper people lose their jobs?
So don’t be lazy – go read the whole thing!