The decision by the Baton Rouge Advocate to go behind a paywall will cause a significant shift in how state political news and opinion become consumed in Louisiana – in ways perhaps The Advocate didn’t expect or want.
Earlier this week, the newspaper’s top brass announced the new model. In some ways, it was late to the party, as a large majority of papers in the country have turned to this practice. In fact, it became the second-to-last mid-major to major paper in the Louisiana to do so, with just the New Orleans Times-Picayune the last standing with entirely free content (and, perhaps not coincidentally, that paper that has done the most to embrace a move online while deemphasizing its print version).
Can the Louisiana Republicans finally get major cuts to the budget as the fiscal hawks have demanded for years? How much of a budget hole is there? Why did the Louisiana legislative fiscal session, called last month to fill an almost one-billion dollar hole, fail without anything to show for its efforts? Did Governor John Bel Edwards have a firm plan? Can we really blame the Republicans for its lack of unity as the Governor has done with the special session fizzle or were the Democrats just as divided?