Friday, February 27, 2009

The future is now, and it's petrifying

Click on this picture. If the Web site still exists when you see this post, go to and look at the slideshow. This is the future of my industry. The Rocky Mountain News has been around for 150 years. It covered the Civil War. It covered Colorado gaining statehood. As of Friday, it will exist no more.

If you think you don't need newspapers, think again. All the blogs and cable TV stations in the world can't replace the paper that arrives on your doorstep each morning. (And if a newspaper doesn't arrive on your doorstep every day, please get a subscription. You might just help save someone's career, someone's calling, someone's lifeblood.)

There was a time when the thought of newspapers fading into oblivion would have never occurred to me. That time was not all that long ago. Now, the industry is in crisis. Each day brings worries about layoffs, about unpaid furloughs or word that another newspaper has declared bankruptcy. Or, in the case of The Rocky Mountain News, an announcement to employees on Thursday that the next day will be the final day.

I'm 15 years and three newspapers into my career, and I can't fathom working anywhere but in a newsroom.

I wish I didn't have to think of a life after newspapers.


joe said...

Outstanding. Sadly, what's happened is largely the result of what the industy has done to itself. The workers and the readers are the ones left to pay for all of the missteps. Here we are, wondering if we'll have careers next year, if not next week.

Megan said...

We're actually doing an opinion story on this in Scout.

col said...

I can never envision my world without a newspaper, just like I can never envision cozying up to an e-book. The sensation is part of the package. The fighting over who gets the comics, who gets the local news, and who gets stuck with the business section over breakfast doesn't work without the newspaper. Online news is ok-I even like to check in on my paper in the evening to read the comments on stories left by readers. But replace my paper? I say NO!!! There has to be a way to keep our news coming to the door--I think we will have a very uninformed or grossly (more) misinformed public without it.