New York Times = Flowers for Algernon

Jack Shafer at ye olde Slate points out a study full of hard math and big words. In essence, the study concludes that the New York Times' efforts to penetrate more local markets tend to draw local readers who are more educated. As the educated readers turn away from local papers, those local papers tend to run less material that might have appealed to an educated readership. The next step is soft-pedaled by the study, but Shafer pounces, describing the net effect as a "dumbing down" of local papers; after all, if they lose the eggheads, they can run more stupid shit to bring in the yahoos without fear of alienating the ostensibly intelligent (we appreciate this strategy around here, obviously). In other words, the NYT is destroying America. Again. We tried to read the study itself for more in-depth analysis, but got distracted by cartoons.

How the New York Times Makes Local Papers Dumber [Slate]