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What if a newspaper folded and nobody cared?

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer's print edition dies, and while it's a shock to Seattle's sense of specialness, a new study shows that most people don't really care whether their local daily lives or dies. The real buzz is about what's next.
Sad, yes. History, yes. But the buzz is 'What's next?'

Sad, yes. History, yes. But the buzz is 'What's next?' MOHAI

No one likes to see the underdog get beaten, but the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, long the David against the Seattle Times newspaper Goliath, just got clobbered. The Blethens are the last men standing in this long-time grudge match, but they're staggering too.

Seattle likes to regard itself as an exceptional place, and staying a two-newspaper town fed our sense that we're something special, a literate, world-class city that could buck the trend that saw most major cities become one-daily burgs. We buy more books, we have more education, we're paragons of the creative class. Members of Committee for a Two Newspaper Town often made it sound as if having two daily newspapers was somehow the Platonic ideal of civic enlightenment.

Seattle never likes having its exceptionalism questioned. We don't like to be reminded that we're not so special, or that national trends can reach across the Cascades or Pacific and slap us upside the head. No matter our deeds and intentions, daily newspapers are dying like Ebola victims, bleeding from every orifice: circulation, advertising, public confidence.

To put the folding of the print edition of the P-I into a little context, check the grim statistics this week from the Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism's annual "State of the News Media" report. It finds that newspapers are dying across the country, thriving only in small markets where Craigslist has yet to penetrate or where isolation, monopoly and intimate connections with readers have not yet been lost. Small dailies and community weeklies still connect with micro-communities and offer the kinds of things Facebook does: The paper you read is about your friends and family. It has recipes, obits, weddings, and school sports. These aren't newspaper assets, they're the embodiment of the community itself: What's vital belongs to the readers, not the writers and editors.

This lesson was brought home to me decades ago when I got to know Henry Gay, crusading editor of the Shelton-Mason County Journal. Henry was a liberal editor in a redneck timber town, and I once asked a neighbor of his why the community put up with his progressivism. The answer was: Well, as long as Henry prints the marriages, births, bridal news, and the high school sports scores, we let him have his page. "His" page. Henry may have thought he owned the paper, but his readers thought of him as more of an eccentric caretaker of a local trust. As long as he gave the community what it needed, he could spout off in his own column.

But daily newspapers have generally lost that trust. Seattle has had two general interest dailies for decades, and both have played enormous roles in the city's history, no question. But I'm struck with how little love there is for either one. Their shrinking circulation over the years, of course, was a sign that readers were peeling away, even before the advent of the Internet. The Pew study finds that the newspapers hurting the worst are in big urban areas, which suggests there is not wide public agreement that daily papers are necessary or relevant to life as its lived in the big city. Oddly, as Seattle grows and urbanizes, it is increasingly hostile to the small-town connections and shared sense of reality that have supported local papers for so long. The Web offers more diversity to increasingly diverse urban constituencies who may no long determine their "community" not by physical proximity but by niche, orbit or affinity group.

The loss of connection with and confidence has been dramatic nationwide. The Pew study found that less than half (43 percent) of Americans say that losing their local daily would hurt a lot, and only a third (33 percent) say they would miss reading their daily a lot if it shut down.

This runs counter to the dire warnings of newspaper folk who have warned at the bonds that will be broken if the dailies disappear. Clay Shirky, in a fascinating analysis "Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable" that looks at this critical moment in media history, says that simply saying it's so doesn't mean it's so when the market is moving its eyeballs elsewhere thanks to technology. He writes "The newspaper people often note that newspapers benefit society as a whole. This is true, but irrelevant to the problem at hand; 'You're gonna miss us when we're gone!' has never been much of a business model." The new technological imperatives of the Internet and mobility are overcoming the history of newspapers' past role in society. All indicators are that the past is past because it is demonstrably not sustainable. In the case of JOAs, even government intervention didn't solve the problem.


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Comments:

Posted Mon, Mar 16, 6:01 p.m. Inappropriate

Seattle remains a two-paper town. One of the two is now exclusively on the web. All other newspapers will end up on the web eventually. As usual, we are ahead of the crowd.

Posted Mon, Mar 16, 7:36 p.m. Inappropriate

From: Tim Eyman, the initiative guy

The last edition of the Seattle PI is tomorrow's edition. The irony of its demise is crisply expressed by a recently published letter:

So sad to see the P-I winding down. Every day there's less and less to read. But it's so hard to run a business these days, isn't it? What with over taxation, overregulation, extortionist lawsuits, runaway liability expenses, hostile labor unions, it's a miracle any business in King County survives. And the P-I, after all, is only a business.

But wait a minute.

Haven't the editorial pages of your newspaper always been for more taxes, for more business regulation, for more reasons to sue a business, for stronger labor unions, for anything and everything that makes running a business the arduous and thankless chore it has become? Yes, I do believe that's true.

So, maybe, just maybe, you idiots richly deserve the fate that awaits you. The chickens are coming home to roost.

Jeffrey Weiser, Redmond

-- END --

This is truly a masterpiece of bulls-eye commentary. Up to now, I'd not given the end of the PI much interest or thought - to me, it's just another business that's fallen victim to the creative destruction which is our capitalist system. Something better will emerge to take its place. But when the Seattle PI's demise is put in the context of what they've advocated for for so many decades, there is a certain feeling of justice watching this big spider being caught in its own tangled web of liberalism.

http://www.VotersWantMoreChoices.com

teyman

Posted Mon, Mar 16, 8:12 p.m. Inappropriate


see my response to Sue Frause !

Posted Mon, Mar 16, 10 p.m. Inappropriate

Wow. Tim Eyman, why don't you go kick a puppy or whatever it is you like to do when you don't have an indulgent liberal audience to sneer at, and let the grownups think about what it means to us that our city's oldest daily newspaper is shutting down.

Posted Mon, Mar 16, 10:41 p.m. Inappropriate

Tim, the demise of the P-I has nothing to do with liberal government. I dislike the B&O; tax as much as the next guy, but even if it were rescinded completely I doubt that would have allowed the paper to keep printing.

Posted Mon, Mar 16, 10:45 p.m. Inappropriate

Since when is a family-owned newspaper the Goliath to a Hearst-owned David? Perhaps Knute got his cast of characters mixed-up...

trogdor

Posted Tue, Mar 17, 2:37 a.m. Inappropriate

Aside from the ebola metaphor, which I found objectionable, Knute's point about a newspaper folding in a big city and no-one caring that it happened is well-taken. By the time regional papers reach the point of no return, they are already emaciated creatures, and much of what we remember and cherish about them has long since disappeared. Readers who grieved every day as their papers were sheared of resources are almost relieved when they fold. When the New Haven Register folded in 2008, for example, there were no riots in the streets. And it's fair to say that when the Baltimore Sun -- arguably once a better paper than either -- goes the same way, the vigil will be short lived. How much do we love the "news sites" that take their place? Only insofar as they stay free and humble: cross the Rubicon into profitability and there is no saying where your web readers will turn. Craigslist? It'll be a sad day. Check out what one veteran had to say about the vacuum newspapers leave when they die.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/02/27/AR2009022703591_pf.html

paperguy

Posted Tue, Mar 17, 9:02 a.m. Inappropriate

Ladybegood: If you think the P-I in its new incarnation -- with a tiny staff of inexperienced journalists, bloggers, Twitterers and aggregators -- is going to produce anything resembling the breadth and depth of the news coverage of the print P-I you're sadly mistaken.

Yes, there will be a seattlepi.com, and it may even make some money (if it doesn't Hearst will shutter it without blinking an eye). But it won't be the kind of news source we need.

bigyaz

Posted Tue, Mar 17, 9:40 a.m. Inappropriate

The P-I is dead. Long live the P-I.

Killing trees for newsprint and burning fossil fuel to distribute this newsprint is a legacy model not viable in the twenty-first century. This is the natural progression of things. It's just evolution, you know. Journalism's future mode of distribution is IP packets, RF radation, and electronic paper.

For such a "progressive" city Seattle is engaging in a lot of hand-wringing over the demise of the Old Media dinosaurs. Nostalgia is fine. So shed a tear, reflect on what was, and move on.

Posted Tue, Mar 17, 10:13 a.m. Inappropriate

The lip service given to the loss of newspapers laments their loss, but as Berger points out the tears may dry quickly. The public has an amazing facility for wringing their hands and speaking words over the dead, but their sadness may not last for long.

Everyone has conjured up their own reason why newspapers went out of favor. We have tiptoed around critical analysis of the causes, not wanting to malign the dead. Newspapers themselves point the finger at the electronic media, loss of classified advertising to Craig’s list and a population too lazy to read in a world going faster than the than the printed page, but surprising little at themselves.

Locally at least they failed to mention that their classified advertising was overpriced and operations like little Nickel made a bigger dent in their bottom line long before Craigs list came on line. They simply failed to compete. While the alternative and neighborhood papers thought local the dailies perceived themselves as national or regional. Local stories were considered minor and unworthy of column inches. The PI far too late decided to compete with local news.

Lots of other things were going on as well. Newspaper unions were very strong and demanded that inefficient operations be written into union contracts particularly in printing and distribution. Management was old school and highly traditional in how they approached journalism. Reporters often learned their craft at the hands of the old timers who demanded solid reporting and demanded accuracy and discipline, but in older established newspapers it could also become stogy. It’s not nice but the word “dull” comes to mind.

More telling, many dailies became more concerned with not offending anyone particularly their major advertisers. Many stories were soft pedaled for lack of the guts to challenge the movers and shakers many of whom pay for ad’s. When a paper reads like a lawyer sits at every reporters desk and the newspaper fails to challenge or takes as truth every word that comes out of city hall or Olympia then some readers might begin to think the newspaper works for the other side.

Political correctness and cheerleading were more the norm than hard core tower toppling journalism. Any reporter now out of work can probably recite a dozen great stories in their career they weren’t allowed to print for fear of upsetting someone of influence. Maybe not of Watergate proportions, but there was all kinds of sleazy stuff and Seattle style graft to go around that was left unreported.

Hearst in the old days might have understood better how to sell papers and keep readers. Uncouth, sensational, unprofessional tabloid journalism, certainly, but it also sold papers and supported a full staff of fine reporters that reported the real news.

Yes it is sad and possibly likely a threat to our democracy to see newspapers die, but owners, publishers and bean counters in management took the journalistic high-road and share the blame for the death of print media.

Quixote

Posted Tue, Mar 17, 11:07 a.m. Inappropriate

Ladybegood, you say "Journalism's future mode of distribution is IP packets, RF radation, and electronic paper." That's fine. What is journalism's future business model, though? Electronic paper is useless without content. Some might be lamenting the end of the print product — I think more are lamenting the end of the large newsroom that the print product used to be able to support.

Posted Tue, Mar 17, 11:52 a.m. Inappropriate

Nobody cares? Gee, I'm so glad I am dismissed by the writer of this piece, the arrogance! But since Knute Berger has made a living doing not investigative journalism but rather op-ed, why would he miss a real newspaper?

Between this piece and the one dismissing the PI as the end of the liberal voice, no wonder Crosscut uses a non-profit business model -- who would pay money be treated as part of the heathen masses on a regular basis?

seadog

Posted Tue, Mar 17, 12:31 p.m. Inappropriate

Boy Knute,

As someone who generally admires your work, this was a very disappointing piece in the extreme!

But your stance actually is representative of a truly sad phenomenon I've noticed by people within the media. Maybe such people are too close to see whats going on, and maybe a very narrow market-driven mindset has been internalized.

The newspapers represent the 4th estate in a way I fear the internet never will. With all their failings, newspapers have full-time staff paid to go out and investigate in-depth government and business. The PI did some very important journalism and covered topics that the Seattle Times will not cover, just as the Seattle Times, due to it's biases will do a better job covering issues the PI did not touch. Internet mostly rehashs the grunt work done by newspaper investigative staff.

Here it is in a nutshell: Democracy cannot function without a 4th estate. The press is the 4th estate and the investigative journalism is the heart of the estate. A newspaper, with all it's faults, in both a business and a public service.

The disappearance of newspapers is one of the scariest things I have witnessed in my lifetime and the failure of certain members of the media to sound a furious alarm is one of the saddest.

bjorn

Posted Tue, Mar 17, 12:31 p.m. Inappropriate

A good summary of what has been happening. Skip Berger points out that
newspapers in smaller communities still have held their own because they
are seen as vital sources of local news. One could point out that many larger newspapers, including both the Times and P-I in Seattle, have lost
credibiilty and circulation because they have ceased being vital sources of local news. Important decisions are being made daily, about the lives of present and potential newspaper readers, in the Legislature, state government, Port of Seattle, Sound Transit, city and county government,
Seattle and suburban school boards, and at major employers. But you will have a hard time finding anything beyond sporadic coverage of these
public and private institutions in local print dailies. Instead, they have dumbed down to compete with alternative media with lifestyle, "human interest," entertainment, and other lighter topics---thus ignoring the principal reason someone would want to read them.

Will the new online P-I get serious about serious topics? Will the print Times now seize its opportunity to be an indispensable source of local information? As several commenters are noted, readers will not reach for them if they simply provide information already easily and more quickly available from alternative sources. See Bill Virgin's farewell column in this a.m.'s final print edition.

Posted Tue, Mar 17, 12:31 p.m. Inappropriate

I am guessing one of the reasons you see a fair amount of indifference to the PI's print edition stoppage is because the public senses that the journalists are no longer on their side. We just lived through a fairly intense period of fascism and the reporters did very little to raise public awareness themselves, until it became so obvious that the public understood it on their own. Instead, most of the coverage lacked a sense of reality. Honestly, I think the public gave up caring because they had to endure so long without real journalism, not because they don't value it. People feel connected to democracy in part through it's newspapers, but when that fails, obviously, your audience is going to shrink. Using the pages of newspapers to distribute propaganda will cost you in the long run and this is what we are now seeing. Newspapers made themselves irrelevant by controlling the dialogue of Democracy.

EJS

Posted Tue, Mar 17, 12:32 p.m. Inappropriate

I don’t believe good content is dependent on physical paper. Readers will seek out good journalism no matter how it’s delivered. Here are some of my thoughts on the decline of American print media in no particular order.

-- Newspaper’s decline began (albeit slowly) long before the web.

-- The Internet sped up that process.

-- Technology replaced many jobs formerly held by people.

-- Most newspapers axed the investigative reporting crews from their newsrooms long ago, along with their foreign correspondents.

-- The cost of web-based ads versus print, especially in a recession. With Craigslist, how long can print classified ads survive, if they are not already dead?

-- Declining readership as more and more people get their news from television or the Web.

-- Newspapers long ago ceased delivering a quality product to their readers.

-- Can any city beside New York City reasonably & economically host more than one newspaper? BTW, the NYT eats up 70,000 trees per week. Newsprint is anti-Green.

-- The movie industry said the VCR would destroy the theatre business.

-- The music industry said digital downloads would destroy the music business.

-- Revolutions are always disruptive, whether they occur in government, business, or science.

Posted Tue, Mar 17, 1:47 p.m. Inappropriate

Don't forget that it's dangerous to read an online paper in the bath tub.

dbreneman

Posted Tue, Mar 17, 3:33 p.m. Inappropriate

Right up until the last, the P-I did some terrific investigative journalism. I hope the web-based P-I can continue that tradition in some form.

Posted Tue, Mar 17, 5:06 p.m. Inappropriate

A spectre is haunting the news business--the spectre of Marxism...

I once worked proofreading want ads at the Seattle Times. Salespeople would take the ads over the phone, type them up on IBM Selectrics, and place them on a conveyor belt where they would be tumble down in a heap to us proofreaders, who mainly checked to see that each ad was in the right classification and that the phone number in the ad matched up with the billing phone number. Once so-called proofreading was done, the ads were scanned into the system. This was circa 1978.

A couple of years later most of these functions were automated and ads were directly typed into the system. I left without much fanfare and began work where I became familiar with text editing and typesetting using the UNIX operating system, a precursor to LINUX. Even at that time it was obvious that the writer would some day have his hands on the means of production, as Marx would say, and this happened fairly quickly with personal computers and word processing.

What was less obvious was that distribution would also be computerized with the internet, and that information and news would be set free. That's what has happened with blogs and craigslist and the general dissemination of news, all searchable with google. Just as you don't see many buggy whips or steam engines any more, in the future you'll see fewer and fewer newspapers. They are a costly, inferior, news dissemination product. They cannot compete with the social and technological forces that are creating a new news industry that pushes information out to where customers are. The paper agglomeration of news into a compendium of world, national, regional, local news, advertising, comics, puzzles, and grocery store inserts is about as exciting and relevant as three telephone directories left in a plastic bag at the top of the driveway.

The world, for those who haven't noticed, has gone digital: music, books, videos, advertising, news. Eight years ago it was a promise, now it's a reality. The Seattle Times will be the next local news victim. They can feed their horses and stoke their furnaces for a while longer, but the inexorable bleeding of money will ultimately take its toll.

Back when I was proofreading want ads was just a few years after Woodward and Bernstein and Watergate, the high-water mark for investigative journalism. That this is the part of local journalism that I find most wanting. The traditional newsroom was a disciplined, well-paid, professional team that typically competed with other newsrooms, often in the quality of its investigative reporting. That competition has been replaced with the many undisciplined, poorly paid, unprofessional news bloggers who compete amongst themselves. These bloggers represent a huge increase in the available public sources for disruptive, investigative journalism. Unfortunately, bloggers often lack the critical resources and training needed to tackle large investigations of institutions. Eventually that will change.

An analogy is appropriate here. The U.S. has produced it's latest fighter, the F-22, at a cost of $361M per fighter. The plane is a technological marvel and clearly superior to any other jet fighter in the world. Unfortunately, as the U.S. discovered in joint war games with India, the plane is not a good match against 361 inferior planes costing $100,000 apiece. The point is that a single newspaper--no matter how good, whether the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, or the Seattle P.I.--cannot compete with all the blogs, with craigslist, with YouTube, with all the other news and media websites, and with news being pushed to phones and to screens in restaurants and gas stations everywhere. The horse and buggy (with professional buggy whip) cannot keep up with a 330mph car; the $361M fighter cannot defeat 361 fighters; and a printed newspaper cannot profitably compete against the online news and advertising ecosystem.

There ain't nothing the P.I. could have done to avert the fate of its out-dated business model. Tim Eyeman is right that its failure is just another example of the creative destruction of business. On the other hand, the "liberal" factors he mentions -- over taxation, over-regulation, lawsuits, labor unions -- don't amount to a hill of beans in the larger context of the technological and social transformation of the news business.

Eventually, profitable online business models will arise that will fund the professional and investigative journalism that may seem to be fading into oblivion. Figuring out some sort of micro-payment model, or a vertically integrated model (ala the ipod or the kindle), or a hybrid subscription model will be the challenge, but eventually good journalism worth paying for will rise to the top. Unfortunately, with newsprint, good journalism was dragged down to the bottom of the lake where it died for lack of oxygen (i.e., the trees cost well more than the marginal value of the news and advertising content).

I find it interesting that the P.I. lost $17M last year and is now shutting down its paper operations, while at the same time, Crosscut, is still slogging along with little funding and a skeleton staff. The new online P.I. will now compete with Crosscut and indeed, seems to think that the Crosscut model is the future of journalism (i.e., small staff, aggregation of news articles, etc.). At the same time, Crosscut is facing financial hurdles and is moving to a non-profit model. Getting the business model right is crucially important. Me too is not a good business model. Reading the Seattle Times on a Kindle in the tub may be the big winner. Eventually content will become king. The P.I., by cutting its content even more has probably sealed its demise, even on line. How long before all the other Hearst paper horse buggies go under?.

Upshot: The Marxist bloggers have finally won, large slow-moving hierarchical newspapers have been left in the dustbin of history, and bloggers and craigslisters of the world are uniting, losing nothing but their chains. While the P.I. withers in its troglodytic business model, while Republicans wither in their corruption, and while bankers wither in their greed, Marxism, the P.I.'s apparent editorial raison d'etre, finally takes hold! Tim Eyeman take note.

Stuka

Posted Tue, Mar 17, 6:49 p.m. Inappropriate

Ted Van Dyk (AKA Crosscut Writer) you apparently didn't understand Bjorn's posting because he did not agree with Berger's piece. And when did Berger (or anybody on the Crosscut contributor's list for that matter) spend any time lately in the hinterlands? ALL newspapers, great and small, are having financial troubles. As for being small and local, one of the worst papers is the Enterprise, which covers the small suburbs of Sno-King. It is so bad and biased that even the locals won't read it. I was amazed to find out that Herald Net owns it, and who owns the Herald? The Washington Post.

It turns out the Washington Post is concerned about the falling revenues of the Enterprise (which fits your oh so fine model of local news about local events and government) to find out that it is run by editorial staff right into the ground. BTW, the Enterprise are good friends with the staff at the Seattle Times. Before you go and opine about what you think small towns newspapers are and hold them them up as a paragon of virtue, why don't you walk out your backdoor and do a tiny bit of research, you might have some credibility next time you write.

But I forgot, you aren't real reporters, this is just an online op-ed page.

seadog

Posted Tue, Mar 17, 7:45 p.m. Inappropriate

Seadog: I never said I wouldn't miss the P-I or that you or anyone else shouldn't. I was reporting on the results of the Pew survey which are a dose of harsh reality about the state of the business and American public attitudes toward the media. I've previously written on Crosscut what I think the loss of the paper means to Seattle:

"[I]f the P-I folds, [Seattle] will be losing a great deal, including scores of reporters keeping the big boys and girls accountable and a sense of journalistic competition that makes papers better. The Times/P-I rivalry wasn't much on paper after the JOA, but it lived in the hearts of its reporters who lived to kick each other in the journalistic ass. Seattle benefitted from that spirit. A Seattle without the P-I is a city in which the Paul Allens and Greg Nickels and Seattle Port staffers and corrupt sheriff's deputies and Puget Sound polluters breath easier."

To me, one of the interesting aspects of why things are unfolding as they are is to consider whether new technology is redefining the ways people find and define community. Is there a new way we're thinking about urban life that has accelerated change and somehow given people reassurance, false or not, that old-school papers are no longer necessary? The Pew study says that many people are clearly rejecting the idea that big city print newspapers are necessary to their lives. As a writer and former newspaper editor and publisher I don't like it, but there it is.

Posted Wed, Mar 18, 8:36 a.m. Inappropriate

I think one of the reasons why people aren't supporting newspapers as much as in the past is overstimulation. While it's true that there have been disappointing failures in the mainstream media coverage of certain issues--the Teflon-coated coverage of Bush in the 2000 campaign, for example--it's also true that you'll still find a lot of good journalism if you read the whole paper regularly. Why doesn't it get read more?

There's not only an overabundance of news sources now, with the Web, but much of today's news is also overwhelming to hear and think about. Audiences seem drawn to emotional voices--strident, outraged, from Rush Limbaugh to Jon Stewart and the whole vast spectrum in between--rather than reporting per se. I notice myself becoming more and more of a skimmer, and not sure how much news I want to know. Or else I want to hear it from someone who's not only telling me what's happening, but also giving me some clues about how I can cope with the sense of powerlessness the news so often inspires.

Posted Fri, Mar 20, 1:49 a.m. Inappropriate

Back when I was a Spokesman Review paperboy (late 1950s) I was also subscribing to the overseas version of the Manchester Guardian- a birthday gift from a "rich" uncle. It was printed on the lightest, translucent stock I've ever seen, before or since.
Now I can listen to the Canadian version of "all Things Considered" (called As It Happens") weekday evenings, read The Guardian online, wade through all the blogs I care to, & peruse the local/regional weeklies. Infotainment? Sure, some of it. But I've 'covered' news long enough to know what passes for 'news' these days is often edited press releases... and I know what issues that matter to me, personally, that are likely to experience the kinds of changes needed to cheer me up... & those that will remain in their ruts.

I wrote to the PI "Opinion" editor earlier this month, with a quixotic take on a paper for sale in a fairly big, MOL literate, prosperous city... & here it is:

The apparent unwillingness of anyone wishing to buy the PI really got me thinking. In a Metro area that includes- what?- half a dozen billionaires?.. (and most of those fortunes made in a branch of the "information industry") it's really telling what has become of "civic-mindedness" in our new century. Rich men- & a few rich women- have indulged themselves with various enterprises that fall into the "break-even" to "money-losing" categories because of something I'll call "the Fun factor". How many sports teams are operated in this fashion? How many breeders of race-horses, participants in yacht-racing, etc are active simply for the love of the action?

For my money (essentially "dream currency", admittedly) I can't picture a more thrilling, occasionally heart-rending way to disperse a chunk of an immense personal fortune than running a big-city newspaper. The difference between owning a sports franchise- where one is simply "the money"- to owning a paper- where one's thoughts and opinions can have as much credence- if deserved- as the "heaviest hitter on the franchise"- are nearly immeasurable.

While the relative anonymity of being a billionaire businessman produces personal pressure on one to ascend to an Upperclass lifestyle, owning a daily paper would seem to require (for the person whose heart is in it) that one remain available- and vulnerable- to the public at large. I can't imagine a more satisfying, and ultimately "character-building" exercise of one's life and fortune than that. ^..^

ridovem

Posted Fri, Mar 20, 11 a.m. Inappropriate

"Killing trees for newsprint and burning fossil fuel to distribute this newsprint is a legacy model not viable in the twenty-first century."
— Lady Be Good
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The same could be said for the dining room table. -SS

SteveShay

Posted Fri, Mar 20, 11:03 a.m. Inappropriate

"For such a "progressive" city Seattle is engaging in a lot of hand-wringing over the demise of the Old Media dinosaurs. Nostalgia is fine. So shed a tear, reflect on what was, and move on."
— Lady Be Good
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

That's just what they said about "The Radio" when televisions landed in every American home.-SS

SteveShay

Posted Fri, Mar 20, 11:37 a.m. Inappropriate

electrons, trees, missing the point of "new" mediums replacing old.

I think you can read what I am thinking and you are not reading what I am thinking in the newspaper that was printed last night.

Telephones became "popular" when chatting wasn't something the operator worked hard to stop you from doing.

Mr Baker

Posted Mon, Mar 23, 10:38 p.m. Inappropriate

What I will miss when my local daily is gone, the Daily "Zero," will be just the facts of what is going on with the community. Reproted by a reporter, edited for presentation and accuracy and given to me straight. The web is great for Marxist ideas and finding something you need to fix the lawnmower, but tell me where to go first thing in the morning to find out watzup in town.

PJHeide

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