Sign of the (New York) Times

Spotted on the Providence Journal web site today: an ad for the New York Times - "Some Promise You the World. We Deliver."

It was a little jarring - a metro newspaper that had national ambitions, not so long ago, with an advertisement for an erstwhile competitor. But it is a tidy little symbol of where the ProJo has landed. The paper - local, local, local - does not pretend to compete with the Times. It brings you, at best, a sort of Diet World. And only if you turn to the "B" section.

The local focus, of course, makes eminent sense in the present media environment. The real question for the moment: execution of that local model. And there is room for improvement, there. There is room for more color and depth; I've long advocated for more analysis - as opposed to straight news - from the largest newsroom in the state. Leveraging the size and (albeit shrinking) institutional memory of the paper would seem a wise move.

But form is an issue, too. Among the top priorities: revamping a tired web site. It's in the works. See my piece from a couple of months ago.

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