These are days of crisis for the publishing industry in general and for journalism in particular. The grand newspapers of record — like the New York Times, the London Times, Le Monde — have been slashing budgets and trying to figure out ways to survive in the transformed media environment that the Internet and financial instability have wrought.

Morgan Meis has a PhD in Philosophy and is a founding member of Flux Factory, an arts collective in New York. He has written for n+1, The Believer, Harper’s Magazine, and The Virginia Quarterly Review. He won the Whiting Award in 2013. Morgan is also an editor at 3 Quarks Daily, and a winner of a Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers grant. A book of Morgan’s selected essays can be found here. He can be reached at

For several years I lived up a rutted, single-track dirt road on an island a 20-minute ferry ride off the coast of Maine. And each morning at my front door I beheld a small miracle of commerce: there lay The New York Times, neatly encased in its jaunty blue plastic bag, undeterred by distance, rough seas, or substandard road maintenance.

That miracle was repeated right up until the day my perpetually put-upon delivery person somehow got her car wedged crosswise in some ruts, then knocked over the neighbor’s garbage in the getting out, loudly sending a couple dozen beer bottles caroming across the road. When I pulled my newspaper from its bag that morning, a scrawled note on a scrap of brown paper fluttered out: “This road sucks,” it read. “I will deleiver here no more.”

She was good to her word.

I thought of her this summer,… More…