For those who think that newspapers should be run purely as a business (as I do), there's probably no economic justification for having a chess columnist. But I still think it's cool that the New York Times has one. Now, the paper even has a new chess blog called (what else?) Gambit.
As the chessosphere expands, it's vital that someone do my YouTube for chess idea stat. Chessplayers need a good way to share and comment on each others' games.