Friday, March 27, 2009

P-I staffers look to offer online ventures

You've heard of but now two groups of laid-off P-I staffers are also looking to the internet for online news ventures.

The Seattle Times reports that one group of former P-I editors and writers met with University of Washington communications professor David Domke and other university faculty to establish a news organization, incorporated as a nonprofit, that would produce investigative, enterprise and narrative journalism.

Another group of former P-I journalists, calling itself Seattle Post Globe, is seeking to launch a community owned online local-news outlet. KCTS-TV is providing the venture with office space while former Seattle Weekly managing editor Chuck Taylor is an advisor.

Is it just me or does "Seattle Post Globe" sound like a ready-made trademark infringement lawsuit? Let's see: Seattle Post-Intelligencer vs Seattle Post; landmark P-I globe vs globe in their name. Maybe its just a working title?

My view: There is a lot of great talent that was lost when the P-I closed. I look forward to reading their work once again. I think there is always room in cyberspace for well-written journalism. However, the website is a beta test for the newspaper industry and its failure could have ramifications throughout the industry. So, while I believe in a competitive spirit -- the same spirit that fueled a healthy rivalry between the Times and P-I -- we also now know that there wasn't enough ad revenue for both of the newspapers. Proceed with caution!

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