This is IN THE NEWS in VOA
Seattle Post-Intelligencer has become America's first major daily newspaper to publish
online-only. Hearst, the company that owns it, printed the final newspaper on
Tuesday. The Seattle P-I was one hundred forty-six years old -- the oldest
daily newspaper in Washington state.
One hundred seventy people worked
in the newsroom. Now just twenty journalists will work for seattlepi.com. The
city is left with one major local daily, the Seattle Times. Some people think it
could also go online-only.
Colorado, became a one-newspaper city a few weeks ago: the Rocky Mountain News
closed. Other cities could soon follow.
Mike Simonton is a media
analyst at Fitch Ratings. He believes many two-newspaper markets will not
survive through the end of next year. By that time, he says, there could even
be some markets with no printed local paper each day.
Newspaper companies like Hearst, he
says, are experimenting with new business models to see what works. But he says
any new product will have to be different enough that people will not be able
to find it anywhere else.
Some newspaper companies have recently
sought bankruptcy protection. These include the Tribune Company, owner of the
Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times, among others.
earn most of their money from sales of advertising. But a lot of that market
has moved to free or low-cost advertising on the Internet, including sites like
Craigslist. Losses have only been intensified by the recession.
Ad sales have always gone up and
down with the economy. But one difference this time is that many newspaper
companies are heavily in debt from buying other newspapers.
are cutting costs. Gannett, the nation's largest newspaper publisher, has cut more
than one-fifth of its jobs in the past two years. More than eight thousand jobs
have been lost.
In Detroit, Michigan, the
two big dailies are reducing home delivery to three days a week. In Ohio, the
state's largest papers still compete but now share stories.
Newspapers have lost millions of readers as a new generation
has grown up. Yet much of the news that people get online still comes from
newspapers. Most papers give it away free on their own sites. The Wall Street
Journal is one of the few that charge for its online version.
month bloggers celebrated what they called a historic moment. President Obama, at
his first major press conference, called on a reporter for a Web-only operation,
the Huffington Post.
United States Constitution guarantees freedom of speech and the press. But as
budgets shrink, newspapers are printing fewer pages, less news. They have fewer
reporters not just in foreign capitals, but even in Washington.
observers say quality reporting is being lost. The question now is to what
extent it will find a new home on the Internet.
that's IN THE NEWS in VOA Special English, written by Brianna Blake. I'm Steve