The Seattle Post-Intelligencer published its last print edition on March 17th, 2009. Despite its being a liberal rag (and having been so for as long as I can remember), I was actually a bit teary about the paper’s demise. I have fond childhood memories of hot August afternoons spent down near the Stan Sayers pits on Lake Washington, watching the qualifying heats for the hydroplane races, the roar of the thunderboats punctuated by the cries of the newsboys. “Get your P-I…pa-puh!”
What didn’t occur to me last March, however, was how having competing dailies served to maintain the quality of each. This point was driven home for me today when I checked the Seattle Times website and saw what would surely qualify as one of the worst headlines imaginable: “Seattle reservoirs to be majorly re-done.”
Majorly. I understand, of course, that the newspaper business is rough and all the dailies are looking to cut costs in order to survive but I hadn’t thought the situation to be so dire that the editor had to bring in his 13-year-old daughter to write headlines.
To their credit, someone noticed that just maybe the headline wasn’t quite up to par, so when I checked back later this afternoon, it had been re-written: “Major do-over for Seattle reservoirs.” Obviously, to avoid hurting his daughter’s feelings, the editor asked her to re-write her own headline so now we have a do-over.
I understand that Seattle Public Utilities, who owns the reservoirs, is actually having to do over the waterproof coating on the covers but that’s not really the same as a do-over, now, is it?