I’m a pretty harsh critic of The Seattle Times. I think their coverage is more biased for a corporate status quo than they’ll care to admit and their editorials are sloppy and often off the mark. And with the ad for McKenna, they’ve put their partisanship on display.
But I don’t get any joy from their declining circulation numbers. For the best corrective to the Seattle Times’ sloppy efforts is better competition. When I read that they’d fallen off of the top 25 papers in the country, I thought of George Orwell’s lament at the end of World War Two that London only had 12 daily papers.
It is only when there are large numbers of newspapers, expressing all tendencies, that there is some chance of getting at the truth. Counting evenings, London has only twelve daily papers, and they cover the whole of the south of England and penetrate as far north as Glasgow. When they all decide to tell the same lie, there is no minority press to act as a check. In pre-war France the press was largely venal and scurrilous, but you could dig more news out of it than out of the British press, because every political faction had its paper and every viewpoint got a hearing.
Of course people get their news from the Internet now and from TV more than they did back then. But the biggest problem with TV news, with the Seattle Times, and most other daily papers in the region, is that they’re reporting from a similar perspective.