The Last Edition Is Published
After 146 years, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer folds.
I hope the few people remaining who keep its online presence pumping do not let it rest in peace.
The Seattle Times becomes the sole daily newspaper for the major metropolis, and it cut several hundred employees within the past year. Like so many other states, Washington has a number of newspapers in smaller cities also in financial jeopardy.
Seeing the probability of the US media's imploding demise from the inside for several years, including radio and television, I have a lengthy and controversial explanation for how this day, and those that will sadly follow suit, came about.
But now's not the time - and my opinion does not matter, anyway. In fact, critics who have predicted this day and so many like them have been great guest speakers at journalism conferences, had fine essays and columns written and reproduced in respected journalism reviews, but our warnings generally went unheeded by those who could have made a difference.
A so-called free press is the key to maintaining a democracy. Informed, educated voters are needed to make wise decisions at the polls and to determine wise policy. Whether a fully functioning free press even exists these days can be debated with the massive "public relations" campaigns that have been influencing so much of our information for so many years.
The distribution of news we used to read in The Seattle Post-Intelligencer and other newspapers that are closing down across the nation may take on a different appearance, mostly through the Internet, but the need for tough, ethical journalistic probing and depth, to speak on behalf of those who have no voice, to closely examine those in power, those who control our finances, those who perpetrate wars at a great cost of our nation's priceless blood and treasure - as well as those who operate the fourth estate of media* itself - has never been needed more.
*(I know "media" is a plural noun, properly referred to as "they" - but choose to use as a colloquial, singular term understood by most people.)