Cancel in protest? Or stay with a local newspaper that’s being strip-mined for profits?

Jeffrey Miller might be the ideal news consumer: He’s well-informed, thoughtful and understands the role good journalism plays in American democracy.

And he has a question, one that might seem small, personal and inconsequential but that goes to the heart of a vexing problem.

For 20 years, he has subscribed to the print edition of his local newspaper, the Mercury News in San Jose. (He also pays for the digital versions of The Washington Post and the New York Times.)

He has watched “the Merc” decline from a vibrant, well-staffed watchdog and ambitious chronicler of its community to a sort of ghost — especially since the paper’s purchase several years ago by Digital First Media, one of the worst villains in the decline of regional newspapers.

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