Seattle PI

12 Feb

The Seattle Post Intelligencer was a very interesting news outlet, and quite honestly, I was not sure how I felt about it at first. I was very intrigued by the concept of taking a mainstream newspaper and transforming it to a completely online news source. When I was listening to Scott and Sarah, it seemed like they were doing well, and generally had things under control (though they did not share a lot of details about the business side). However, when I was discussing with classmates after the encounter, I realized there was more to it.

When looking at the bigger picture, since 2009, the PI has dismissed 90 percent of its employees. You could arguable say the extra bodies were not necessary, but they did bring up that they no longer had the resources to cover everything that they would have liked to. I think the outlet may have been struggling more than they let on, as this would have been a huge transition. The PI still functions out of an office that I am sure at one time was packed with staff, and now frankly, all the empty cubicles and offices are just depressing.

We also must consider how their following has changed. As one of the oldest and largest metropolitan papers in Seattle, it would have been a huge change to go completely online. I guarantee they lost a significant amount of their customers who were loyal to the paper version, and where would those customers go? Probably to their main competitor, the Seattle Times. Older generations like the Baby Boomers who may not be as tech-savvy as Gen-X or the Millennials, felt abandoned. At this point, it seems the only thing keeping the PI functioning is it’s name. I think since it used to be such a successful paper, it is using its very identifiable name to stay alive. Without the success of the newspaper, the PI website would never have the advertising and resources to function (especially without a paywall, which I agree with).

In my opinion, this is not necessarily an example of a successful journalistic endeavor, and who knows if the Seattle PI will be around for much longer.


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