On Tuesday, March 17, 2009, the Seattle Post Intelligencer will cease operations as a print newspaper. Seattle PI.com will be re-launched with a new vision and staff. Summarizing the words of Executive Producer Michelle Nicolosi, here are the salient points of the new venture:
“We don’t feel we have to cover everything ourselves. We’ll partner for some content; we won’t duplicate what the wire is reporting unless we have something unique to offer; we’ll continue to showcase content from 150 reader bloggers and we’ll link to content partners and competitors to create the best mix of news on our front page.
Readers are also interested in photo galleries for all kinds of news and features. Our daily news of the world photo gallery is one of the most popular features on Seattle PI.com
We have just sealed a new partnership with Hearst Magazines that will give us great new health and wellness and at-home content from their many titles.
We’ve also signed up dozens of prominent local leaders to write columns for us.
A lot of our staff efforts will be on coverage of government, spending, crime, and harder news in general.
We don’t have reporters, editors or producers — everyone will do and be everything. Everyone will write, edit, take photos and shoot video, produce multimedia and curate the home page.”
Overall, this sounds like the new PI.com will be positioned to cover most of the content areas that have high readership and interest. The collaboration with Hearst’s stable of magazines will also bring a fresh new look, and potentially cross-platform advertising. The new online service has yet to discuss advertising or budgets, but Nicolosi points out that the online edition has been in the top 30 most popular US newspaper websites, as measured by Nielsen, for a long time. That they are sticking closely to the watchdog-on-city hall value of objective journalism gives me hope for the future.
And here is a comprehensive look at new models for the future of news from Prof. Jeff Jarvis at CUNY.