Next week could be significant in the evolution of daily newspaper journalism.
Already, a major metropolitan daily has closed, the result of a bad economy, an outdated business model and a competing newspaper. The Rocky Mountain News could not find a buyer, which even a year ago would have been surprising. So, with a day’s notice, the paper closed, put hundreds out of work and ended a community tradition that extended into the 1800s.
Next week, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, which also faces competition from a strong cross-town rival, is threatening to close if no buyer can be found. But the P-I also is contemplating another tactic. It may become the first major metropolitan daily paper to go fully digital. No newsprint. No home delivery in the morning. No coupons to cut out or inserts to put aside.
The New York Times’ Richard Perez-Pena writes about the possibility today.
Meanwhile, Will Bunch of the Philadelphia Daily News, takes newspapers to task in his blog for not doing the research basic to good reporting. He also cites Jon Stewart’s entertaining tirade against CNBC.
Often, when major catastrophes hit, such as the Iraq war, the bad economy, and others, it is easy to criticize the mainstream media for not being alert enough to warn the public before it was too late. It’s usually accurate and fair comment. Unfortunately, as journalists are cut, these failures in journalism are increasingly likely.