By now, everyone's seen the new design and focus of the paper version of the Sacramento Bee. While it will probably help the paper cut costs to buy it time for its efforts to figure out how to make enough money off the web, it's probably not going to make it any more popular, which is unfortunate. What I'm more interested to see are things like this new feature from Dan Weintraub online-- The Conversation, which invites experts to discuss issues important to Californians and the region. This week's conversation debates whether Sacramento has too many eggs in the hip, cool urban downtown basket. I haven't had time to read it, but it seems to me that the goal of providing transportation options to get people out of cars, and the lack of family-friendly housing, forms the central tension in the debate.
Regardless of where everyone comes down on this issue, more features like this could make the Bee a pretty interesting hub of local and regional debate.