Seattle Times executive editor David Boardman wants to let P-I loyalists know “who we are — and who we aren’t.” But mostly, just the “aren’t” part.
Apparently, they’re not a right-wing paper, and they’re not a left-wing paper. They’re not a suburban paper, but they certainly haven’t been the urban paper. They’re not the establishment paper, but nobody in their right mind would ever label them an anti-establishment paper.
So then David… what the hell are you?
And perhaps, maybe, isn’t the typical daily’s lack of a clear identity, let alone a little personality, part of the industry’s problem? I mean, criticize FOX News all you want (and God knows it’s easy), but they’ve been damn successful embracing both bias and personality… and at least most viewers know what they’re getting when they flip it on.
(Oh… and this conceit that reporters are automatons, unhumanly free of their own personal bias… or that of the guy who signs their paycheck and approves promotions… I just don’t think readers are buying it anymore. Which may help explain why fewer and fewer people are buying daily newspapers.)
The truth is, apart from the masthead, most Seattleites couldn’t tell the Times and the P-I apart. So I’m not so sure that promising readers you produce pretty much exactly the same product as the paper that just went under, is a sound, long term business strategy.