In an open letter to Berkshire Hathaway owner Warren Buffet, former Greensboro News & Record editor John Robinson says:

The editor-publisher of the paper, Jeff Gauger, resigned yesterday. This gives you a golden opportunity before it is too late to do a solid for newspapers around the country. No, it’s more than a solid and it’s for more than newspapers. You can throw a lifeline to news consumers everywhere.

….So, this is your opportunity: Hire a publisher who is empowered to lead the News & Record into the future rather than one trying to hold onto the past. Use the N&R to try new approaches to news and revenue generation. Adopt the idea that successes by the N&R could be tried in some of the other dozens of newspapers your company owns. And make this not about the printed product, but about how news companies can generate and distribute news and information that serves the community.

Not exactly a ringing endorsement of Grits’ term at the N&R. Still, I agree with Robinson’s questioning of the N&R’s decision to run an eight-part series on the murder of a prominent Rockingham County couple. The story honestly intrigued me–it went unsolved for some time and the eventual arrest provided an interesting twist—but what can I say even a semi-middle-aged guy like me only has so much leisure reading time, so I passed.

But then Robinson suggests the N&R venture into so-called “service journalism”—focus on stories change readers’ lives for the better or that will right wrongs in the system…those are the stories that make readers notice.” Seems to me that’s what the N&R’s been doing for the last several years, especially since the evil Republicans in the General Assembly have been randomly screwing everybody.

Newsflash—-people already know the system’s screwed up hence the likes of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders on the political scene. Heaven knows what Trump stands for–but we know Sanders and his supporters believe—heaven help us— the future is rooted in the past. Robinson’s a pretty liberal guy, too— although he strikes me as a Hillary man—so it’s not a surprise that he really believes newspapers can be saved. Put it this way— I still walk out and get my paper every morning, but there have been more than a few mornings when I scroll Facebook on the tablet with that first cup of coffee.