On Friday the New York Times reported that The Hearst Corporation was making offers to some PI reporters for a web only newspaper. As reported in the article:
“Hearst said in January that if it could not sell The Seattle Post-Intelligencer by this Tuesday, it would stop printing the paper and either shut it down or become a much smaller online publisher. No buyer has emerged, and an announcement is expected next week.
The Post-Intelligencer with a weekday circulation of more than 100,000, would be the first large American newspaper to stop printing but continue publishing on the Internet. A few smaller papers have already made that move.
This week, Hearst executives made offers to some people in The Post-Intelligencer newsroom, asking them to stay if the company decided to proceed with an Internet-based news service. ….”
The news was first reported by PI reporter Dan Richman in an article entitled “Some PI workers get online offer” Richman notes that some 20 people would be employed in the web based paper. This would leave a lot of others unemployed.
But some of the potential reporters with lots of free time are already proposing an alternative to being unemployed. Daily Kos has an article about an alternative cooperative proposal run by the reporters.
MSN news says that
“A group of Seattle Post-Intelligencer employees is seeking to raise $250,000 to start up an online local news site if Hearst Corp. decides to shut down the daily newspaper and not pursue an online-only site of its own.
The employees are setting up a nonprofit entity called the Seattle Post Globe. About 20 P-I staffers say they are prepared to work without pay until they can raise funds.”
Termed ” A Plan to keep journalism alive in Seattle: the Packer Model“; you can catch the details of their proposal at a website called Seattle Post – Post Intelligencer . Check it out.
The football team, the Green Bay Packers, is owned by the fans. The website of the reporters looking at starting the alternative newspaper on the web if the PI goes under and Hearst doesn’t do an online edition of the PI, says:
“The idea here is that We are exploring the creation of a cooperative , which would be operated by combination of the site’s employees and the community.”
Unless someone is lurking in the shadows with a bundle of money and community goodwill, things look to be drawing to a close for the Seattle PI as readers have known it for years as an independent spirited newspaper that has done much in its work to make Seattle a better community to live in. The current economy makes it’s chances of surviving even less likely.