News

The Future is Now

By Josh Feit March 17, 2009


fizz311. The P-I published its last print edition today, obv. The post-Post-Intelligencer will now be an online-only publication, seattlepi.com—making the P-I the biggest daily in the country to become an online-only news site. Seattlepi.com will have an editorial staff of about 20, leaving most of the P-I's 167 employees without jobs at the new publication.  

2. State Sen. Fred Jarrett (D-41, Mercer Island, Factoria, Bellevue ), who has entered the race for King County Executive, may have a rough time winning over King County's liberal voters. Not only was Jarrett a longtime Republican before becoming a Democrat in 2007, but in recent weeks he's cast a string of conservative votes in Olympia that his opponents are likely to flag for King County's left-leaning electorate.

Jarrett voted against Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D-36, Ballard) Democratic-agenda item to reform the state's private employer insurance program (known as "Retro") that had become notorious as a GOP slush fund for spending employees' money on hotly partisan political ads. The bill passed.  

Jarrett voted 'No' on the homebuyers' bill of rights legislation, another high profile bill that had stalled in previous years thanks to the lobbying efforts of the hyper-conservative Building Industry Association of Washington. The bill, now seen by Democrats as a must-win against the GOP-friendly BIAW, passed the senate last week.  

And man, he voted to gut I-937, the voter-approved renewable-energy initiative that passed in King County in 2006 by nearly 60 percent. What King County politician could be so out of touch with local voters on that one?  ... Oh right, wait.

3. PubliCola got some nice play in the Puget Sound Business Journal this week. An article in the current edition titled "The future is now, say Seattle web news entrepreneurs" begins like this: 



























Even before the owners of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer had announced the likely end of its 146-year print run, an array of bloggers, community journalists and techies were assembling new, web-powered alternatives for getting Seattle-area residents their news.

The entrepreneurs behind names like NewsCloud, the JOA News Co-Op, PubliCola and WetPaint are using social network techniques to build audiences, and are connecting disparate niche websites in an attempt to eke out enough revenue to survive.

“I think the mantra across the board right now is change or die, whether you have been in existence for 163 years or 163 days,” said Sandeep Kaushik. He and former Stranger news editor Josh Feit helped launch the political news site PubliCola.net in January.

PubliCola started up two months ago, about the same time that the New York-based Hearst Corp. put the Seattle Post-Intelligencer up for sale.


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