Locals Only - A Column From Search Engine Land

Have you noticed the number of layoff’s being announced by newspapers of late? When the New York Times announced in February 2008 that they were cutting 100 positions from their newsroom, it was a sad moment. A prominent national paper that informs our opinion and dialogue was announcing a cutback. Then the San Francisco Chronicle announced last May that 25% of its staff would be cut by the end of summer. Since then The Washington Post, The LA Times, Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun and just last month The Atlanta Journal Constitution all announced layoffs. One report states that there have been more than 70,000 US media layoffs since 2000.

Then I noticed that the newspaper vending machine for The Seattle Times was removed from a sidewalk location on my way to work. I always stopped at the vending machine, read the headlines, and if I saw an interesting article I’d go to my desk and pull up Seattletimes.com. All of this led me to think…will we see an acceleration of newspapers going digital or going away? Will the paper versions of these newspapers be a thing of the past? Should I have bought more of those newspapers on my way to work?

Why do I care?

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