Thursday, March 12, 2009

Can We Save A Local Voice?

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer is going to fold any day now and may become an online only paper. That's may become, not will become -- nothing is certain here. As P-I subscribers since we moved to the area, we're going to have to decide which paper to subscribe to -- the Seattle Times or what? I honestly don't know, but one possibility is that we'll get the New York Times instead of the Seattle Times. Which gives me an idea that I just have to toss out.

Why doesn't the P-I wrap the New York Times? By this I mean that they produce a combined paper which contains a single P-I section with local articles, local ads, local ad inserts, plus the national edition of the New York Times. The local section would contain no national news, no wire-service news, nothing but things that are of local interest. In other words, the local paper does what it does best and it combines with one of the best papers in the country (if not the best paper in the country) for everything else. The New York Times is already printed locally somewhere. That same plant could print one extra section for P-I subscribers.

Such a hybrid wouldn't save the entire P-I and it wouldn't save everybody's job, but it seems like it could retain the voice and more. It seems like a win-win for everyone.

Is there something I'm missing?