Apparently my blog is blocked in China again, and readers who reside in China had trouble posting comments. Two readers have sent their comments through email on some recent topics, and I'm posting these for them here:
You may want to look at some work on 'authoritarian deliberation', or as I prefer to refer to it as, 'deliberative authoritarianism' “审议权威主义”.
as you know, 审议 is just one of the ways of expressing 'deliberation', so you might want to search a few of the others as well.
Rebecca McKinnon gave a long talk on the internet in china where she touched on this, but the idea is not hers. A quick search on the internet can get you to many of the main source, and watching Rebecca's talk may be interesting.
Newspapers need to figure out what they can do better than anyone else - TV or other websites. The problem is they try to be all things to all people, and, in any field, there are other places people can get better, more focused information, analysis or whatever.
Take sport: you can go to ESPN (website or TV) for general information; you can go to somewhere like Baseball Prospectus for statistical analysis of baseball; you can go to Sons of Sam Horn for interactive discussion of the Red Sox.
It is simply not possible for one publication to compete with all these sources - and others in news, politics, opinion, business, etc. I think newspapers as we think of them - generalist publications - can not survive. They need to focus on one area where they have an advantage and become the best source for that area. Maybe the WSJ is one example of how to do that - focusing on business.
One area I would like to see newspaper focus on is investigative journalism - trying to uncover the truth when there maybe some who do not want the truth exposed. Generally I think the US media does a poor job of this. Political reporting often consists of: Democrat said X, Republican said Y with no effort to determine the truth and or whether one or both were lying.
I think some effort to use their media access to report the truth not only would improve the knowledge of Americans (compare knowledge about the case for Iraqi WMD prior to the war in the UK and US), but would also providing a compelling reason to buy a newspaper.