Barry Bonds lied about taking steroids, that’s the top story on the front page of the dead tree editions of both of Seattle’s dailies. Well… duh-uh. However, in the online editions, the story about the home run slugger’s grand jury indictment was much less prominent — I actually had to Command-F his name (Control-F for all you Windoze lozers) to find a link on the P-I’s home page. Huh.
That’s the interesting thing about this exercise in reporting the morning headlines. I’d gotten so out of the habit of reading the print editions, I hadn’t realized how old their news was. The morning papers are really yesterday’s news, while the online editions better reflect today’s headlines. No wonder the combined online readership of the P-I and the Times (4 million unique visits) would place amongst the top seven dailies nationwide, while their individual online readership now ranks them 19th and 21st respectively, ahead of many larger dailies in larger markets.
And notice that while the Times continues to kick the P-I’s ass in print circulation, the P-I has jumped ahead in online readership. (You know… the future.) Why? Well it could be that the P-I’s website has done a better job recently of staying on top of breaking news throughout the day. And it could be that absent the distortions of the JOA, the Times loses its competitive advantage. But I’d wager that a measurable part of the P-I’s lead — about 140,000 unique visits in October — is due to the fact that local bloggers like me tend to go out of our way to link to the P-I instead of the Times. This trend started back when the Times was trying to kill the P-I by ending the JOA, but it’s been reinforced by the fact that apart from Postman, there seems to be an editorial policy of refusing to link back to us. Given my druthers, I’d prefer to link to the best article on any particular story, but, you know, it’s a two-way street and all that.
But I digress.
Other duh-uh stories dominate the print editions today, with the P-I informing us that Bosses spy on their workers, and Video rental stores are losing business to NetFlix, downloads, and video-on-demand. Not exactly a couple of blockbuster stories. Meanwhile the Times breaks the shocking news that holiday travelers should Be prepared for flight delays and lost luggage. No shit, Sherlock.
Elsewhere, War funding bills fail in the Senate (NY Times, 17.5 million uniques), Army desertion rate up 80% since 2003, the highest since 1980 (USA Today, 9.5 million uniques), and oh yeah, the Democrats step up attacks in last night’s presidential debate (Washington Post, 8.7 million uniques.)
I’m just sayin’.