Seattle PI Continues Shifting Gears on Ever-Changing Road of Journalism

11 Feb

The Seattle P.I. started out like many newspapers in our world of journalism, but they made the tough decision in 2009 to switch to an increasingly prevalent online-only model. In doing so they cut their staff down considerably to just 12 people. The walk from the entrance of their formerly inhabited office space to their current area was a bit eerie, and shows once again we are in an ever-changing world and business. Their decision to form partnerships to help boost and enhance their content was clearly out of necessity – unless the 12 staff members have discovered a way to eliminate their need for sleep for the rest of their lives. But in some cases that partnership model makes me wonder: how exactly can they stay a unique brand? I understand many other outlets use content from the Associated Press, but at what point does it get used too much?

Media outlets (both print and broadcast) all try to achieve or reflect a certain identity, or make themselves stand out from the rest of the competition. While partnerships can help in cases of unique, added content: gaining a rather large amount of content from the Associated Press fails to make the Seattle P.I. stand out in my mind. And while writers can make appearances on local radio stations, the best way I can describe that type of marketing to potential new readers is indirect.

I credit the staff at P.I. for sticking true to their guns, and for ultimately making some very tough decisions about where to send their writers and who is assigned to what. It appears they are actively trying to anticipate where the winding road of journalism is going to turn next, an online-only newspaper that does not have an app when people are increasingly using smartphones and tablets is a bit near-sighted in my mind. Online-only is based entirely on ease of accessibility, and what’s easier than just clicking on an app? That said, their decision-making process was very interesting.

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2 Responses to “Seattle PI Continues Shifting Gears on Ever-Changing Road of Journalism”

  1. mazickj2150 February 12, 2013 at 12:32 pm #

    That’s a good point you bring up about the overuse of Associated Press content to fill one’s space. I didn’t notice until delving deeper into the P.I.’s site that AP has a strong presence. What does the future have in store for the P.I.? I’m interested in knowing, too.

  2. yangjustin110 February 13, 2013 at 8:22 pm #

    After reflecting about our meeting with the P-I, I too realized that it wasn’t so bad. It showed how efficient a paper could really be.

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