On March 18, Seattle almost certainly will lose an institution nearly as old as the city itself. The illuminated globe atop the Seattle Post-Intelligencer building will go dark. But perhaps all is not lost. If the Hearst folks decide against funding an internet edition of the P-I, a group of seasoned reporters and columnists will form a subscriber-supported cooperative to provide local news and opinion online:
We are a group of P-I journalists. Our goal is to allow P-I reporters to continue serving Seattle as watchdogs and informing the public on such key issues as city politics, helping people navigate the current economic crisis, the environment, and education. Additionally, we intend to continue the work of recognizable writers as Robert Jamieson, Mike Lewis, Art Thiel, and many others.
Should the Seattle Post-Intelligencer close, we intend to begin a news website to fill the void left in our community. We hope that the Hearst Corporation will start a online-only P-I that performs the important role the newspaper has played in this community, but we stand ready to continue our work for the public interest.
Right now, they're trying to get a feel for how much support they can expect. They can count me in. I'd strongly encourage any other Seattle-area readers to pledge their support - the Seattle P.I. does outstanding work, and we need an experienced alternative to the Times.
Show them some love, even if it's just a note of encouragement.