A few things continue to percolate w/r/t the Times-Picayune fiasco. If you'll bear with me for a moment, a couple of concepts:
1) Once upon a time, cities had robust streetcar networks. For a nominal daily fee, any citizen could ride to work, the cinema, or the doctor. In time, a different system took hold, which involved a large initial investment, and greater ongoing costs, in exchange for greater convenience. People liked their cars, however, and eventually streetcar networks withered. Folks who could afford it could drive themselves to work and back in air-conditioned privacy, while those who could not, did not.
By the same token, newspapers shifting to digital platforms represent a massive cost shift from producer to consumer. Instead of giant printing plants, trucks, and kids on bikes that the newspaper pays for in order to put the newspaper in a reader's lap, the reader pays for a laptop/tablet/smartphone, as well as broadband access. Just like with streetcars, many consumers were willing to pay extra for the convenience, while those who can't afford it don't get to read the news.
2) This relatively invisible disparity echoes the way the word "privilege" has been used in recent years - at least in academic contexts. Basically, privilege reframes something taken for granted as a special perk accruing to a given identity, rather than making that perk the norm. So, if you can shop at the Gap without being followed around by store security, that's white privilege; if you can walk the most direct route home from the bar without worrying about being raped, that's male privilege. The insidious thing about privilege is that it's like a tiara you can wear, but not see for yourself. The CollegeHumor video below is funny, but also suggested to me that it's time to start thinking about digital privilege, and the stakes of radically asymmetrical access to the online world for rich folks and poor folks. Presumably, the creators and consumers of this video live in a world where everyone has an iPad or at least a smartphone, and access to robust wifi, both on and off campus. I will keep linking to this map, and mention that this census data suggest that a tablet computer and the monthly broadband nut would be a challenge for many New Orleans families. And who would want to live in a city where it's diffcult for poor people to get access to news?