Of course, the ideal scenario—indeed, the inevitable one, if newspapers are going to survive—is that reporters and editors conceive and write all of their stories with the Web in mind. This could eventually mean, among other things, a reconsideration of conventional storytelling methods—perhaps a shift away from the AP-style newswriting voice altogether. In the meantime, the Web offers plenty of low-hanging fruit that newspapers can grab to bolster their reporting. Everyone in the newspaper business knows the difficulties presented by the Web. But too few are embracing its benefits.

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Deron Lee is CJR's correspondent for Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, and Nebraska. A writer and copy editor who has spent seven years with the National Journal Group, he has also contributed to The Hotline and the Lawrence Journal-World. He lives in the Kansas City area. Follow him on Twitter at @deron_lee.