Eugene Cho

good bye to the seattle post intelligencer

Good bye Seattle Post Intelligencer (1863-2009) and ‘Thank You.’  When I heard the rumors, I didn’t want to believe it even though I knew it was inevitable.  It’s not just the current economic situation but the continual impact of the internet and how it impacts people reading and receiving their news.  Last year alone, the Seattle PI lost 14 million dollars.  And so, today, the Seattle PI prints their final edition.  In a small way, I’ve contributed to that closure since I was once a subscriber but chose to read all my news online couple years ago.  I really do like the feel and experience of flipping through the newpaper pages but how can you compete with free?

  • How do you read your news? Who and how?
  • What are your feelings about these changes?  
  • How is your city or town being impacted?  

And while the Seattle PI will live on as an online paper, it just won’t be the same. And I’m not sure how I feel about Seattle being the first of probably more to come of other cities being reduced to one newspaper source.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer will roll off the presses for the last time Tuesday. The Hearst Corp. announced Monday that it would stop publishing the 146-year old newspaper, Seattle’s oldest business, and cease delivery to more than 117,600 weekday readers.

The company, however, said it would maintain seattlepi.com, making it the nation’s largest daily newspaper to shift to an entirely digital news product. [read full article]

While I wasn’t a current subscriber, I enjoyed reading the PI via my RSS reader and directly on their website.  And while I know that they’ll continue being an online paper, it’s just not going to be the same.  I’m going to miss the Post Intelligencer as a printed paper because I’ve had a very good relationship with several of their reporters and staff.  They were fair in reporting about Quest and our presence in Seattle and their editors were also very gracious in allowing me to write couple guest columns:

Here are some of the articles about Quest:

And this article, In a Trendy Coffeeshop, a Jolt of Religion, which was on their front page [below] and because of the picture and the various headlines on the cover, numerous people thought I was involved with strip clubs.  

Thank you Seattle PI and I’ll see you ONLINE.  

seattle-pi-cover1

And here’s the commemorative front page of the last edition of the Seattle PI:

2008872076

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14 Responses

  1. onewifeonly says:

    we are a one newspaper town. we better start buying the seattle times.

    i get most of my news online, and local news online from seattlepi.com

  2. Michelle says:

    I get all my news online. Unfortunately for the newspapers, it’s the easiest and best way for me to get news. I like the flexibility of quickly being able to check out different sites for news instead of reading one paper with one point of view on every subject.

  3. this form of media is dying… this didn’t start happening during this economy, I remember when the Birmingham Post Herald (the nightly paper in B-ham) closed up shop in 2005 and everything switched to the Birmingham News.

    It just doesn’t seem like a viable product any more. Every news paper that has moved to the web, I haven’t liked, they just do what everyone else does, so I think there is room for good hard hitting journalism on the web, but printing something on paper, daily, and trying to make a profit seems to be a lost cause. Only a matter of time before there are a handful left nationwide (IMO).

  4. Seattle isn’t the first. Denver lost the Rocky Mountain News a few weeks ago — after 149 years of service. They announced the decision one day before the final printing, and unlike the P-I, didn’t continue with an online version.

    I’ve never really been a print newspaper reader in my adult life, but still get sentimental as I’ve now seen papers close down in two of the major metro areas I’ve lived in.

    BTW…thanks for making your entire posts available in your feed…I’m reading more of your posts now.

  5. Sue says:

    Every newspaper is losing money because it’s clear that the new generation of readers are getting their news via the web. I read all the major papers: LA Times, NY Times, Washington Post, SF Chronicle, and Chicago Tribune – but all of them online.

  6. Kevin says:

    I spent seven years as a reporter in the Kansas City area and the paper I worked at (my hometown paper for more than 20 years) is being reduced to a tabloid-sized insert in the Kansas City Star. A bunch of friends have lost jobs or will likely lose their job today. It’s a terribly sad time for newspapers, which are the voice and conscience of our communities. I don’t think people realize how devastating all of these closings/reductions are to them. Newspapers make communities stronger. As they weaken and die, so does a part of us.

  7. Brian says:

    This doesn’t even cover the issue of lost jobs for paperboys/girls as these newspapers shut down. That was my first job when I was in junior high and allowed me to buy my first snowboard and get to the mountain.

  8. Joanna says:

    I love sitting down with a good cup of coffee and reading the newspaper, but I rarely get to do so due to the expense of the paper copy. I used to deliever our local paper when I was growing up, so I do have a strong fondness for the smell of newsprint.

    It saddens me to see everything go online, especially when I’ve seen people lose jobs in that industry.

  9. eugenecho says:

    @kevin: i agree. i don’t think we have an idea what we’ve lost here.

    and the seattle times – the other paper has publicly shared that they’re in trouble as well.

  10. beattieblog says:

    As a former paper boy, like kevin, it’s a bummer to see this format of the P.I. go. There was an interesting discussion with a local journalist on the radio today saying that one thing that’s hurt papers like the PI is their catering to younger audiences. His argument was that they spurned conservatives and older readers too much, gambling that youngers would buy the paper. But like so many, I get it online.
    BTW, there’s a petition folks can sign online encouraging the Hearst co. to donate the PI globe to a local non-profit if they shut down for good. Though it sounds like nothing will change for a couple of years.

  11. beattieblog says:

    oops – here’s that petition link:
    http://www.petitionspot.com/petitions/piglobe

  12. adam hartung says:

    The change at Seattle Post Intelligecer is a good thing for Seattle, and for Hearst. Developing a viable news model for on-line reporting is important to future readers and society. Read more at http://www.ThePhoenixPrinciple.com

  13. Tom says:

    Thanks for setting the record straight, John. Some nice pieces in the paper/online versions of national daily print media a couple of weeks back re the closing of the Rocky. I’m relatively new to Denver but from what I can gather the paper started before Denver was even a city–basically, you had a big mining camp, whorehouses, saloons, mining supply stores and the Rocky Mountain News. Churches–and true city hood–seem to have come later :^)

    Most thoughtful people have a sense of history, so no surprise a lot of folks here (both in Denver and on the thread) feel bad about the loss of a link to roots.

    Not sure about the reasons people are giving for the likely end of newsprint, though.

    The two Denver papers before the closing of the Rocky (RMN + the Denver Post) had a daily paid circulation of a half million people in a 3 million person metro area. That’s a market penetration that almost any business would envy.

    Daily print newspapers around the country have historically charged virtually nothing in subscriptions for their (mostly) strong journalism and hard to replace community service. They made the money that subsidized all the cool stuff through classified and main section ads.

    Craig’s List (and other approaches like it) are the real reason why daily print newspapers can’t make it work economically. I think this is where the comment, ‘how do you compete with free?’ is more relevant, Eugene.

    I’m pretty optimistic, though, that serious and even local journalism will find a home. So far it seems like many younger folks believe you can get something of quality for nothing, but I’m not sure that’s true. Most current online versions of news and opinion, including most blogs, depend heavily on professional journalists paid by traditional news organizations.

    We’ll have to pay one way or the other for serious journalism. It’s just a question of which technology will deliver that paid service. The folks that can figure that out (Jeff Bezos?) are going to get even richer.

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