Chronicling the Seattle Post-Intelligencer’s final days as a newspaper
was a bittersweet experience. It was painful to endure the death of the
newsroom I once loved, but I’ll always be glad I got to spend time with
my co-workers, as they valiantly put out the P-I’s last printed editions
under enormous strain.
I recently finished putting together a book of the photos I took of that
time. I’ve called it “Final Days: The Seattle Post-Intelligencer
newsroom.” I know that’s not too creative, but it does have an eloquent
introduction from the P-I’s former manager editor, David McCumber. Thank
Now I’m not one to toot my own horn, but I think the pictures capture
some of the chaotic beauty of the newsroom: A place littered with newsprint;
full of smart, eccentric people; and bristling with energy (and stress)
to get something new out the door every morning.
So I whittled down thousands of photos into 200 images for this book,
ensuring that almost everyone present during those last awful days was
represented. Then I offered a way for people to order a book for
themselves (with no profit to myself, of course).
But so far, out of 170 former employees, only 18 have ordered books. It
completely bummed me out! What gives? I spent more than 20 hours
producing this thing, and I have to say, it’s pretty darn nice.
Carol Smith — my all-time favorite reporter to work with (besides
Vanessa Ho, but she’s my wife) — said the book was “hard to look at.”
I’m hoping she meant the photos evoked strong emotions.
Perhaps chief copy editor Bill Fink said it best: “I’m not sure which is
more unbelievable, you trying to sell $50 books to 150 unemployed
journalists, or you actually trying to cash their checks!!”
I have a cheaper option for a softcover book ($34), but he does have a
point. And BTW, he purchased a hardcover book, but I haven’t tried to cash his check.
The book isn’t the only eulogy to the newspaper. This Wednesday evening (June 3), there’s a community tribute to the P-I. Admission is free, but reservations are required. — Dan DeLong