What might that future local coverage look like? If Dickson has anything to say about it, it will be forward-looking, rather than infused with a too-rosy view of the former Ann Arbor News.

“It was never that good of a paper to begin with,” he said. “When you look at the amount of great local coverage it produced, it probably was a two-day a week paper.”

Correction: This article originally misstated a detail of James David Dickson’s work history. The relevant sentence has been corrected. CJR regrets the error.

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Anna Clark is CJR's correspondent for Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. A 2011 Fulbright fellow, Clark has written for The Guardian, Grantland, and Salon; blogs at Isak; and can be found on Twitter @annaleighclark. She lives in Detroit.