One year after the Seattle Post-Intelligencer March 17, 2010Posted by amyrolph in Journalism, Seattle P-I.
I remember one year ago like it was one week ago.
I woke up early. And for once, I wasn’t in a hurry. I didn’t have anywhere to be, anyone to meet, anything to write. I wouldn’t start at the Everett Herald for six more days, and I was at a loss for what to do with myself.
I ended up about a mile away at a Tully’s Coffee, trying to make a cup of tea last long past the point of cooling. A newspaper rack stood next to the coffee bar, and a headline on the cover of the New York Times read: “Seattle Paper Shifts Entirely to the Web.” I remember that two older gentlemen seated in big chairs near a window were talking about the P-I. They speculated about what went wrong, what the closure meant — if anything.
One year later, I don’t have many answers. But I believe in journalism more than ever. If there’s one thing I’ve learned this year, it’s that persistence can be a powerful force.
As far as I can tell, envisioning the future of the news industry is a lot like driving without my glasses. I know we’re moving forward. And I can read the signs as they flash past the windshield. They say to speed up, slow down, turn left, turn right. They say to respond quickly, think faster and merge when one lane ends. But as for the destination — that’s a blur. I know it’s out there, but it’s hard to see that far down the road.
Some might say that’s shortsighted (nearsighted, to be precise), but I think it has more to do with flexibility. We don’t know what the future looks like, and we have to adjust our route in accordance with signposts along the way.