Friday, March 27, 2009

Seattle Councilmembers move to name P-I globe a landmark

After the launch of my petition to save the P-I Globe and the considerable news attention it recieved, I think you all know how I feel about the following news item.
Seattle City Councilmembers want to save P-I Globe 
The three former news reporters on the Seattle City Council -- Jean Godden, Tim Burgess and Sally Clark -- want the Seattle P-I Globe to be designated a historical landmark by the Landmarks Preservation Board.

Green Lab may bring 'green jobs'

Let me extend a warm welcome to the National Trust for Historic Preservation's new Green Lab to be based here in Seattle at 1429 12th Ave. on Capitol Hill.

The Green Lab will focus on ways to give new life to existing buildings nationwide and retooling them to be more energy efficient. Despite the $50K price tag to Seattle taxpayers, it's another opportunity for Seattle to be seen as a real leader in the effort to fight global climate change.

Green technology still has a long way to go before its full adoption by developers but has the potential to really take off as an industry. Seattle could potentially benefit from the new "green jobs."

This is one area I have to give Mayor Greg Nickels a lot of credit. His leadership regarding climate change has put Seattle on the world map and kept it there.

Seattle police sergent not so accountable

It would be ironic if it was not so sad...

A Seattle Police sergeant assigned to the department's Office of Professional Accountability would be charged Wednesday with second-degree assault for a domestic violence incident at his Sammamish home.

Seattle P-I reports:
Officer Scott Moss, 39, was arrested early Saturday after his wife ran to a neighbor's home and called 911. According to court documents, she told King County Sheriff's deputies that Moss had pushed her as she tried to leave during an argument and thrust a kitchen knife toward her hand, cutting her right thumb. 
The woman's thumb was bleeding when deputies arrived, court documents say. 
The argument started after his wife received a cell phone call from a woman who said Moss was having an affair with the caller's friend. Moss' wife confronted him when he got home, according to court documents.
Perhaps he was not "accountable" to the law or his wife!

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!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Nightline's Face Off debate

'm here at the taping of Nightline's Face Off debate on the existence of the devil. The venue is half full with another half hour to go before lights up. Mars Hill followers are out in force. They are mingling about talking up their pastor and their church. Follow my updates on Twitter.

The winners are...

I had 26 submissions and only three copies (if you don’t include my own) of the final edition of the Seattle Post Intelligencer to give-away. Most of you made VERY compelling arguments about why you should win this contest and a few, well, didn’t really try that hard at all.

Here’s some of the lack-luster efforts:
I never read the paper, but would like to. 
I just want to make some money. What do you have against that? 
Hmm… my dog ate my last copy. I swear. No, really!
This guy is just down-right mean:
I would line my birdcage with this rag. Should have died a long time ago. Good riddance.
Now, here’s the moment you all have been waiting for (play drum roll in your mind)…

The winners are:
  1. I would donate my copy to the annual fund-raising auction for Old Mill Center for Children and Families, a school for developmentally challenged children. The Center is in Corvallis, Oregon, and I know has many ex-Seattleites who would be interested in bidding on the P.I. Thanks for the opportunity.
  2. My son Alex is doing a report for school. They are studying the various different news sources as part of a communications class. He decided to write his report about newspapers. They just assigned the project and he's just starting to gather information. He and I were just talking about how people are starting to move away from printed materials. The future lies in devices like Kindle. If I win this I will give it to my son for his report.
  3. Wow. I live in Florida, and I just heard today about the demise of the Post-Intelligencer. I never read a print copy, but when I was a broadcast news producer, I learned that I couldn't always trust the truncated AP broadcast wires, and for breaking news out of Seattle, I visited the PI website to read the full accounts of what was going on. Sure, I get a lot of my news online (I rarely even see TV news since leaving the biz), but I still feel great sadness at seeing a publishing institution fall by the wayside. Yes, times change, but saving a printout from the computer (or saving the file) is not the same as pulling a yellowed piece of newsprint out of a scrapbook to recall a world-changing event, a personal accomplishment, or the life and death of a loved one. I'm sorry for Seattle's loss, and I mourn the decline of the print media in America.
Sorry to all of you who didn’t win. It wasn’t easy picking from among your stories. One lady even twisted her ankle as she prepared to do battle for the last copy in a newspaper box. I almost gave it to her so that she would have something to read while icing that ankle.

The good news is that I decided to give away my own personal copy in a couple weeks to a random Twitter follower (my user name is SEABlogger). I really just wanted to hold the final edition in my hands and have the opportunity to read it cover-to-cover.

One final word of thanks to this contests benefactor who himself is unemployed and could have joined others on E-bay who are seeking to profit personally. He’s been a great friend to this blog and, hopefully, we can become personal ones too.

Former P-I writers turn to cyberspace

Curt Milton, a former P-I staffer and owner of Infinite Zoom, reports that many former P-I writers are opening up shop on the information super-highway.

Several of my friends from the P-I are starting their own blogs now that the paper has closed. I'm starting a list on this blog so others can find them... They are the best at what they do and worth a look.

Check out his blog roll, here!