I actually gave up on regularly reading newspapers even before the web, and so I might have predicted the end of industrial age newspapers a long time ago. But, in spite of that, now that it’s actually happening–and happening locally with the Seattle PI, I can’t say that I ever prepared to live in a city where one might not be able to find a couple different local papers offering serious coverage of the big stories.
So, what does this have to do with the Central District? Well, in some sense, the local newspapers haven’t really had a ton of attention on local issues in our neighborhoods. And, that’s part of the reason why the newspapers are dying out–the newspapers aren’t primarily in the news business, they are in the business of delivering us (the public) to their audience: the advertisers. And, being treated like a product by the papers is not a priority for most of us.
But, on the other hand, the PI and Seattle Times have both employed journalists who have provided some serious coverage of issues that effect us. And, however one might complain about newspapers, we’ve got to worry about, e.g., what shenanigans go down at city hall if there’s not a couple different journalists digging into those stories and bringing them to the public.
Fortunately, we have Central District News and the other neighborhood blogs / site around Seattle. I don’t know that these websites can altogether replace what we might get from the PI, but they are part of it–and, in some very local ways, we already are getting a lot better information out of them.
Mike Davidson, who works at Newsvine (a news company with offices in the PI building) wrote some of his thoughts and observations in Last Rites. And, that made me want to post something here to CDN. I don’t have any answers (though Mike has some ideas–which are worth looking into).
What do you think? Definitely curious to hear Scott’s and CD Guys’ and other folks from Neighborlogs thoughts as well.