It’s Not In The P-I

The deathwatch at Big Newsprint continues — the Seattle Post-Intelligencer is on the ropes, and the referee is looking somewhat concerned.  Possibly by the end of the week, if not sooner.

Notably, the second major metropolitian newspaper to go down in recent days is, like the first, in a two-newspaper town. So there’s that. But still.


To paraphrase what our incoming J-school freshman class was told in 1977: Unless you’re obsessed with journalism, get out. Careers in the field suck, and it’s only gonna get worse.

And back then, all we had to fear was Gannett. Before USA Today.

This has all been a long time coming. Subscriptions pay only a fraction of costs, and many two-newspaper towns have been beneficiaries of antitrust-exemption “joint operating agreements”, where only the newsrooms are separate. The morning paper always had the advantage in those situations, which is why Hearst bought the Chron in SF and sold off the Examiner to some idiots.

It all comes down to advertising — which was already on the ropes before Craigslist ate the classifieds. If the local ad market can’t support a daily, it won’t. We’ll likely see the Rise of the Weeklies before this historic structural shift is finished.

@nojo: But where will we go for our periodic rants from Marjorie Grinholm of Lewisberry who writes in to complain about the encroaching SOCIALISM of the OVERPAID GOVERNMENT WORKERS and by the way, when will you take that awful Doonesbury off the comics page and give us back Garfield?

Oh right, the blogs.

KUOW, the local NPR outlet, is running a week-long obituary for the PI this week. I didn’t realize that any businesses in Seattle had been around for 146 years, continuous or not. Seattle’s only been an incorporated city for 144 years.

@Nabisco: Well, when you consider that the “press” the Founders had in mind was something like the Federalist Papers…

Blogs are actually closer in kind than the morning fishwrap. Mass-circulation newspapers didn’t arrive until a century later.

But no, I’m not suggesting that a blog can do what an investigative reporter can do with six months to kill. Although I don’t see many investigative stories in the lifestyle section.

@nojo: We’re already infested with alt-weeklies here, I don’t understand how two identical dailies lasted so long in the first place.


No te precupes. When it comes to that, the planet will be ruled by a bunch of damn, dirty apes.


I love alternative weeklies. So pretentious, so self-important, so clueless, so may ads for colonic irrigation.

Now wait, Tommmcatt: the Chicago Reader “Early Warnings” (not to be confused with Stinque Distant Early Warning ™ — all rights reserved) is a must for nagivating the world of rock in Chicago, without having to go to brokers or going without. There is a service that is provided, for which I am grateful.

@chicago bureau:

But still, I would imagine, filled with enema, escort, and massage ads.

@Tommmcatt: It’s What Your Right Arm Is For!: It’s not like the weeklies aren’t also threatened by Craigslist. The Personals used to be the best thing about them.

And that’s where Wonkette doesn’t understand what to steal from Spy. Nobody cares about the NYRB table of contents. Not when you can find stuff like this in the back:

EROTIC EXPLOSION. Let me blow your mind, your ultimate erogenous zone. Provocative talk with educated beauty. No limits.

Shit, what I am I saying? I should save that for a regular feature…

Tommmcatt: It’s What Your Right Arm Is For!: Enema? Not so much. (Not that I look for such things, of course.) But yes — more circumlocution about fucking than in a David Mamet play.

@chicago bureau:

In LA, weeklies have an ad for some kind of water-squirting-up-butt service on almost every other page. Maybe the proximity to Hollywood makes that kind of service a necessity or something.

My local weekly has excellent local government and crime coverage. Oh wait, I’m being redundant.

The classifieds offer French, Greek, Roman, Asian, leather, water sports, etc. , whatever that all means, but they must be legit, because every ad says “nonsexual” at the bottom.


Personal of The Week? I love it.

Nothing can touch the M4M one Margaret Cho mentioned:

WANTED: Ass bandit to rob this caboose!

@nojo: Hard-core journos who want to keep working can always pack their bags and go to Mumbai. NPR had a story recently about how the publishing industry is going through the roof in India. A few more “open toilets” to dodge than your typical American city, but hey, work is work. Plus, every local cinema is chock-a-block with Bollywood song and dance!

@flippin eck: Or they can produce cop shows like David Simon, and — whoops! There went NBC’s 10 p.m. strip. Doing less with less, as one of Mr. Simon’s characters might say.

@flippin eck:

Don’t forget the incredible Indian art. Mr. OA and I went to see Garden and Cosmos: The Royal Paintings of Jodhpur this weekend, and the collection was simply breathtakingly exquisite. By far the most exciting exhibition to come through the SAM in years. In addition, they had DJs spinning current Indian hits, along with traditional dancers. Surely the collection will travel to Chicago as well.

@Original Andrew: Oh noes, the Indians are even taking over Sport. Hello dahl-y!

@Nabisco: After reading that piece of “journalism”, I’m reminded of an old saw: “That’s what killed Broadway”. And that’s what killed journalism.

@chicago bureau: The local paper for a bedroom community near Albuquerque, the Rio Rancho Observer, is desperately seeking buyers. It’s failure would leave a city of 80.000 without a paper. The big state paper is cutting back coverage, also.

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