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The Seattle Post-Intelligencer will roll off the presses for the last time Tuesday, ending a 146-year run.The Hearst Corp. announced Monday that it would stop publishing the newspaper, Seattle's oldest business, and cease delivery to more than 117,600 weekday readers.
The company, however, said it will maintain seattlepi.com, making it the nation's largest daily newspaper to shift to an entirely digital news product.
"Tonight we'll be putting the paper to bed for the last time," Editor and Publisher Roger Oglesby told a silent newsroom Monday morning. "But the bloodline will live on."
Copy editor Glenn Ericksen, a P-I staffer for nearly 25 years, said ... the Web "lowers the standard of literacy all around"
I hate to sound like a fuddy-duddy, but I agree with that statement. I think it's part and parcel with the lowered attention spans that the Internet helps to foster. Reading a physical piece of paper is a much more mind-engaging way for most people to read; the Internet simply doesn't (and likely can't) engage the mind so thoroughly.
I'm sure I've relayed this story before, but I went to sell an antique car in the paper a handful of years ago. They wanted something like $300+ to run the ad onetime - for a car I was asking about $1500US for. When I expressed my displeasure at that, I was told that $300 was cheap to sell a $1500 car. WTH? I didn't place the ad, I went and sold it elsewhere. That attitude of entitlement is a big part of why they're dying. Sorry, I can get better product, cheaper, elsewhere. they lost my job postings going forward to - and those I would pay $400+ for.
Add to that my perception that many of them have slanted political viewpoints AND that my local paper really doesn't report much news of interest (news <> a lot of pages on human interest stories) and it's starting to become obvious why they couldn't compete.
Unfortunately to move online they're now going up against numerous large established classified ad sites. Ebay, craigslist, and a slew of others are already targetting all the paid ads. So they've got a hard battle ahead of them. They'll have to provide better product at good prices in order to make it. Good luck!
Beyond being very poor at pushing online readers to become subscribers, newspapers in general have been quite slow to modernize the sales of their online inventory. A lot of these sites receive enough targeted traffic to make at least a decent buck off of well-sold, well targeted, section by section CPM ads, but they don't know how to sell it.
Don't even mention how behind the curve on local classifieds they've been.
Also please don't mention the shunning of SEO that so many newspapers are guilty of - I've seen firsthand a local newspaper site (in Montreal) go from 200k visits a day to 450 overnight, with basic on-site optimization.
The entire industry let themselves slip into oblivion - it's not like there's a shortage of appetite for news. That came off kind of negative :) it really is sad that so many intelligent productive members of the industry are suffering because those who run it could not or refused to adapt.
Better yet- develop new technology that allows readers to save parts of the paper for archive (think clipping articles from the paper and saving in a shoebox). Also add a text-to-speech feature so that people can "listen" to your paper while they drive to work. (Also needs voice recognition so that people can verbally call up different sections to listen to.)
Users can still get their daily paper even when on vacation or a business trip. Or the newspapers can work out deals with other local papers where subscribers can get the local paper where they are visiting instead of (or in addition to) their hometown paper.