Dying media and an opportunity

Any of you who follow alternative media outside Prince Rupert will likely know that Sean Holman (a very effective, independent legislature reporter for Vancouver’s 24 Hours paper) was laid off this week.  The Rocky Mountain News in the States has gone out of business as well.  There is no doubt a pattern of downsizing and elimination of hard news that goes beyond The Daily News.  The loss of Earl Gale and Kris Schumacher is just our recent part of the story.

Add to that the truly pathetic excuse for a newspaper that appeared on Thursday (a sponsored page by Canadian Tire on NASCAR???  No letters, and only one real news story?  Please say it ain’t so!).

And so, the opportunity:  There are some very good quality experienced journalists out there, and a reading public that is growing increasingly disenchanted with traditional newspapers.  How about a new online newspaper which is rooted in the North Coast, but links with similar efforts elsewhere?  Going online would cut much of the overhead costs.  This would cut some of the dependence (read subjugation) to big advertisers, and create an opportunity for journalistic independence.  I think the audience is ready, and I think some members of our community are part way there already (eg. The Podunkian, Shaun Thomas…).

Having said that, I have no real idea what the practicalities of this idea are.  Perhaps there are others with more knowledge than I that could kick the idea around.