In a chat largely focused on Pentagon politics and Cindy Sheehan, Howard Kurtz fielded one interesting question regarding the future of newspapers and their niche in an increasingly packed media landscape:
Question: Has it ever occurred to newspaper people that their target audience IS one that wants longer, more detailed stories? If I want sound bites, I can watch cable news. If I want The Story, I pick up the newspaper. So, why dumb down The Post, unless profit is Almighty Standard for news now?
Howard Kurtz: I wouldn’t equate what The Post is doing (and by the way, this has been debated here for at least 20 years) with dumbing down. The Post has continued to run lengthy series and stories, some covering a full inside page or two, on special projects, investigations and other in-depth efforts. The current push is to limit, say by 10 or 20 percent, the length of routine or incremental stories (committee nears vote on legislation)–in part to make more space in the paper for the more ambitious stuff.