This writer received a call earlier this week from a reporter for one of the local daily newspapers to ask my comment on a certain matter.
I referred the reporter to stories written in their sister paper down the road. The reporter had no knowledge that this topic had already been covered extensively there,
which led me to ponder how sad the situation is for local newspaper readers to find their daily Puget Sound newspapers (The Olympian, Tacoma News Tribune, 49% of the Seattle Times) are mostly owned or controlled by one source: The McClatchy Co..
Quoting the Tacoma News Tribune of March 14, 2006:
“The McClatchy Co.s pending purchase of Knight Ridder newspapers means the South Sounds two daily newspapers The News Tribune and The Olympian would be owned by the same company. Readers posting messages to The News Tribune and The Olympian Web sites worried Monday that a single owner might kill off the smaller Olympian. Cheryl Dell, the Tacoma papers publisher, said that wouldnt be the case. We have no intention of closing the Olympian or selling it, Dell said. McClatchy announced Monday that it agreed to buy Knight Ridder Inc. for $4.5 billion. McClatchy publishes The News Tribune and the Tri-City Herald in Washington, as well as 10 other daily newspapers. Knight Ridder Inc. owns 32 daily papers, including The Olympian, The Bellingham Herald and 49.5 percent of The Seattle Times. The transaction wont change The News Tribunes commitment to covering the South Sound, Dell said…The purchase will make McClatchy the second-largest newspaper chain in the country, behind Gannett Inc., which publishes USA Today. The News Tribune, currently McClatchys fourth-biggest circulation paper, will rank ninth after the deal closes this summer.”
Further, Yelm’s weekly Nisqually Valley News is owned by Lafromboise Newspapers, which also owns the Centralia Chronicle. With consolidation even among the local weekly papers, perhaps this is the only way for some them to survive, yet is a disturbing trend.
No wonder readers are turning more and more to blogs, as newspapers consolidate and the readers’ choices to access news from the print media dwindle.