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.

Follow @USProjectCJR for more posts from this author and the rest of the United States Project team.

If you'd like to get email from CJR writers and editors, add your email address to our newsletter roll and we'll be in touch.

Anna Clark is CJR's correspondent for Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. A 2011 Fulbright fellow, Clark has written for The New York Times, The American Prospect, and Grantland. She can be found online at www.annaclark.net and on Twitter @annaleighclark. She lives in Detroit.