Monday, March 23, 2009

A farewell -- of sorts

A funny thing, the internet.

Last week, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, a fixture in this city for 146 years, printed its last newspaper. There were a ton of people who bemoaned the loss but I wasn't one of them.

Not that I didn't care for the newspaper, usually referred to as the P-I. In fact, I much preferred it to its competition, The Seattle Times. It's just that for me and tens of thousands other readers, the P-I hasn't gone away.

As a former newspaper reporter, I probably shouldn't admit this; in fact, some of my former co-workers at The Times-Reporter, in New Philadelphia, Ohio, and The Canton Repository, in Canton, Ohio, might just harbor notions of stringing me up by my thumbs. But here it is; I haven't read a print newspaper in almost ten years.

I get my daily dose of news via the internet, have read since April 2007, when we first began to consider a move to the West Coast, and while the P-I may be dead and gone, is still very much alive.

There are some differences, of course.

Some of the old standbys of print newspapers are gone, as are a few smaller items of local note, and a couple of the columnists have departed. But coverage of major news, international, national and local, is still available, as is movie and book coverage, the want ads, David Horsey's editorial cartoons and the one comic strip I still read -- Funky Winkerbean.

The Hearst Company, owners of the now defunct P-I, also own its online version and it's still available at no cost to readers.

All of that may change, of course. The Hearst people may decide to initiate a subscription to read That has happened for the online versions of a number of national newspapers; if it happens here, I probably will pay it. They may decide the online news site isn't paying for itself and scrap it, too.

But I'm not going into mourning yet.