Over the past few months, I have talked to about 50 current and former reporters, editors, Web staffers, and business employees. From these conversations, a picture has emerged of a paper suffering an identity crisis....the Post seems to be paralyzed-and trapped. It can't go completely local because the local news in Washington is, in many respects, national; and its status as the paper of record for national politics is under assault from numerous competitors--competitors it isn't clear the Post can defeat. Meanwhile, the tense, even hostile, relationship between the print and online divisions hasn't made the paper's search for a coherent identity any easier. And so, in a new era for journalism, The Washington Post has yet to figure out what it wants to be. The result has been a lot of lurching--some of it (like salongate) embarrassing, much of it merely ineffective, but almost all of it suggesting a newspaper in disarray.