Covering the troubles in the newspaper industry can be mighty dispiriting: I sometimes feel like I spend my days writing the obituary for my own career. No wonder I felt such trepidation when accepting an invitation from the folks at the Douglas County Library to speak at a Cafe Current session they dubbed "The Incredible Vanishing Act of the Newspaper Industry." But to my surprise, the get-together, which took place last night at Parker's Warhorse Inn, left me feeling unexpectedly upbeat. True, the topics under discussion tended to revolve around layoffs, cutbacks and various theories about rescuing newspapers (like MediaNews Group CEO Dean Singleton's new pay-to-play online approach) that no one is certain will work. But the mere fact that more than thirty people turned out on a Tuesday night to spend two hours talking about this subject demonstrated that plenty of people care about keeping newspapers alive, as did their passion. And while most of those on hand were north of forty, there was also a sixteen-year old who was just as interested in batting around possible solutions to the biz's problems as the rest of the group. Keep hope alive.
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