By Tracie Powell
“Advanced Publications, the group that publishes New Orleans’ Times-Picayune newspaper, announced Thursday it would scale back its printed edition to three days a week and shift its emphasis to online coverage. Similar cost cutting measures are happening across the country but New Orleans will become the largest city without a daily newspaper and many residents still don’t have internet at home,” Colorlines reports.
The cuts come after the paper saw a steep drop in circulation. In 2005, before Hurricane Katrina, the paper had a daily circulation of 261,000; in March of this year, the circulation was 132,000.
New Orleans is 60 percent African American, according to U.S. Census data and based on a 2010 report from the Kaiser Foundation, only about 36 percent of its residents have Internet access at home.
The city will host to the 2012 National Association of Black Journalists Convention next month. The state of the Times-Picayune is certain to be a main topic of conversation.
Tracie Powell writes regularly about journalism and media policy for the Poynter Institute. She is also a vice chairperson of the NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force.