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Internet, economy claims newspaper

Posted by Michael Bloch in online world (Tuesday March 17, 2009 )

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer will roll off the presses for the last time today after 146 years in operation.

After losing $14 million last year and the owner failing to find a buyer, Seattle’s oldest business with over 117,600 weekday readers will take a new form, and will be the USA’s largest daily newspaper to shift to an entirely digital news product at

According to various reports, the editorial staff will be slashed from 150 to 20, and those remaining will need to cover multiple tasks.

Looking back, it really is amazing to see how many print newspapers failed to see the virtual writing on the wall when the Internet really started taking off, which is close to a decade ago now.

As the announcement on the Seattle Post-Intelligencer points out, demand for news is still as strong as ever, but falling advertising revenue and the migration of readers to the online world of news has impacted newspapers large and small.

Back in November last year, the Christian Science Monitor announced it would be the first nationally circulated newspaper to replace its daily print edition with an online version commencing this year.

One Seattle Post-Intelligencer staffer commented that the Web “lowers the standard of literacy all around. Who needs copy editors on the Web?”. It’s not just a case of sour grapes, he’s right – my own writing skills have somewhat deteriorated over the years due to the pace of cranking out content and writing with search engines as well as humans in mind. Maybe his skills aren’t so obsolete after all – we have quantity and currency out here that’s for sure, now it’s more an issue of quality.

Perhaps he needs to just think outside the box a little and instead of dedicating himself to one company, to freelance and service multiple… all very easy to do in the online world.


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