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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Community Comment

Another one bites the dust…

Picture Rocky Mountain News  (The Spokesman-Review)
Picture Rocky Mountain News (The Spokesman-Review)
Good afternoon Netizens…

The picture of the newsroom doesn’t really do it justice, but Friday will be the last day the Rocky Mountain News newspaper prints, as it is closing its doors.

Rich Boehne, chief executive officer of Scripps, broke the news to the Rocky staff at noon today, ending nearly three months of speculation over the paper's future. He called the paper a victim of a terrible economy and an upheaval in the newspaper industry.

"Denver can't support two newspapers any longer," Boehne told staffers, some of whom cried at the news. "It's certainly not good news for you, and it's certainly not good news for Denver."

Much the same fate faces several other major newspapers around the country unless someone comes up with a solution.

I suppose the Rocky Mountain News is somewhat different since I grew up reading it on a regular basis since childhood, and thus some may say I have a bias on their behalf.  However, I also have a profound fondness for both the San Francisco Chronicle and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, both of which are facing possible closure within the next few weeks. How about, for the sake of clarity, if we simply assume I am enamored of the dying art of journalism, and leave it at that?

I spent some time this afternoon talking with the Spokesman-Review’s Doug Floyd and he made what I think is an interesting and challenging observation about journalism. If you walk down the aisles of your favorite grocery store and reach the magazine racks, you will be confronted with a plethora of new glossy magazines that apparently are having no problem connecting with their readers. We are seeing a serious problem with getting the same people who buy these magazines and/or their subscriptions, to go out on their front porches in the morning and pick up the morning paper. Do you think this is true?

Don’t look now but we may see two more award-winning newspapers go under next month, and it remains to be seen if we even understand the nature of the financial model that is killing them off like flies.

Or perhaps it is we no longer need printers ink to print a newspaper, given all the tears that inexorably have already fallen in news rooms this lean winter.


Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.