The Kids are Alright

If they’re all that’s left, they’ll do:

The Ann Arbor News, owned by Advance Publications, changed in July 2009 from a daily newspaper to a web-first model that produced a print edition only twice a week, making Ann Arbor among the first American cities to lose their only daily paper. Since then, The Michigan Daily has been the only Monday-through-Friday print publication in town.

As daunting financial pressures force newspapers around the country to shut down or severely trim staff and budgets, a new model has emerged in many communities in which college journalism students increasingly make up for the lack of in-depth coverage by local papers.

“I keep questioning whether this scandal would have come out sooner if we had a vigorous local paper here,” said James O’Shea, a former editor in chief of The Los Angeles Times and managing editor of The Chicago Tribune who is now a visiting professor of journalism at the University of Michigan. “But I also don’t know if it would have ever come out without The Michigan Daily.” The place-kicker, Brendan Gibbons, has not been criminally charged.

Get it, kids.