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Gregory Rodriguez writes about the reascension of New York City in the cultural and intellectual world:

New York, long the intellectual capital of the U.S., has seen its stature strengthened by the decline of regional newspapers and media outlets. While critics had hoped (or feared) that the digital age would decentralize information media, the opposite has happened. Manhattan’s so-called Media Corridor between 8th Avenue and Avenue of the Americas, and roughly from Columbus Circle south to 40th Street, is both more concentrated and farther reaching than ever. Over the past two decades, The New York Times has joined the Wall Street Journal as a truly national newspaper.

Oh yeah, and all that hype about the blogosphere democratizing information? Well, it was just that: hype. Now that the reading public is realizing that most blogs are self-serving claptrap, the value of the well-considered written word is rising again, but it is rising at the same time that regional periodicals are suffering. In other words, while the digital revolution walloped mid-level publications nationally, it has left elite New York publishing — newspapers, books, magazines — with more power (if not more revenues) than they have ever had.

OK, two questions. First, is it really true that New York is more influential than ever in the media world? It’s an intriguing assertion, and quite possibly true, but I haven’t really heard anyone else making that case recently. Second, putting aside the question of whether most blogs are self-serving claptrap, is there any evidence that the value of the well-considered written word is rising again? I mean, I think it would be great if that were the case, but I don’t feel like I’m exactly drowning in testimonials that this is happening. Comments?

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