Behind the "Hell"

Rebecca Theim was not a natural choice to become a prominent voice in the community as The Times-Picayune began its tumultuous shift to a digitial-first strategy. The paper was her second full-time job out of college, but she left it 19 years ago and currently works for an ad agency in Las Vegas. Still, she was active on the Friends of The Times-Picayune Editorial Staff Facebook page, launched dashTHIRTYdash to help staffers who lost jobs, and she the recently published Hell and High Water: The Battle to Save the Daily New Orleans Times Picayune.

"Today is a Painful Day"

Former Times-Picayune staffer Rebecca Theim has written Hell and High Water, a book that covers the dramatic transition of The Times-Picayune from a beloved daily paper to a website-led paper that, as it cut frequency and staff, burned off much of that good will. The story has been told in across a host of publications, websites and Facebook posts, but Theim pulls the pieces together in a clear narrative that fills in some of the contexts.

Tonight's Top Story: Nola.com Reporter's on the Scene

[Updated] While I don't share the belief that being first is automatically better, I understand that it is a time-honored news philosophy. It's tempting to tsk-tsk the haste with which Nola.com posted a story on the Frenchmen Street shooting, but television and radio have gone live with little more than a headline for decades.

The Future and The Past

The first 45 minutes of last night's news forum "Where Do We Go From Here" focused on the future of journalism. "New Orleans has gone from five years behind the times to five years ahead in two months," said the Poynter Institute's Kelly McBride. Once the questions started, we rocketed to the past as the first audience member asked if there was a future for newspaper (Answer: yes and no. Barron's and Wall Street Journal - sure. Hyperlocal, subscription-oriented papers - yes.

Where's Lagniappe?

At 7:52 a.m., the lead Entertainment stories on Nola.com's mobile site date back to Monday - The Newsroom and True Blood renewed, a New NPR series, and Beasts of the Southern Wild. The app is the same - nothing from Lagniappe. When I go to Nola.com on my laptop, I find reviews for Savages and To Rome with Love along with Keith Spera's picks for the week among the rundown of stories. This leads to two questions:

1) Why the disparity between Nola.com's three online platforms?

The Nola.com Experience - June 12, 2012

My wife and I decided that if The Times-Picayune owners thought we didn't need the paper four days of the week, we probably didn't need it the other three and canceled our subscription. One regular feature of MySpiltMilk.com (which will be live tomorrow) is going to be documenting my efforts to stay informed through Nola.com. Today's post has a particularly painful backdrop as T-P staffers are learning their fates today.

The T-P Rally & America's Petri Dish

On Monday afternoon, New Orleans protested in New Orleans fashion. The Save the Times-Picayune Rally in the parking lot of the Rock 'n' Bowl featured beer, costumes - including Joan of Arc and an accompanying knight - and music. Kermit Ruffins joined the Lonely, Lonely Knights to wing a new song, "Do the Times-Picayune," and Allen Toussaint played a set of his classics backed by Rod Hodges and Rene Coman of the Iguanas with Carlo Nuccio on drums.

How Disneylanding Happens, Pt. 29

[Updated] In today's T-P, James Gill analyzes a tourism "master plan"written for New Orleans by Boston-based consultants in 2009. I'd link to it, but I swear to God I can't find it on Nola.com (if anybody can, send me the link and I'll update). Gill sees the now-defunct hospitality zone proposal as a direct result of this consulting group's recommendations:

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