seattle_pi01.jpg
It's now been 18 months since the Seattle Post-Intelligencer shut down its print operation, laid off 140 journalists, and switched to an online-only format. So

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What Are the Old Post-Intelligencer Journalists up to These Days?

seattle_pi01.jpg
It's now been 18 months since the Seattle Post-Intelligencer shut down its print operation, laid off 140 journalists, and switched to an online-only format. So what are all those writers, editors, copy chiefs, photographers, and paginators up to now? For the answer, we turn to former P-I staffer Ruth Teichroeb at the Safety Net blog.

Teichroeb surveyed her 140 colleagues in the same way she did a year ago to find out what kind of work they were doing.

Of the 140 former staffers, 82 responded.

Here's what she found:

Half have new full-time jobs working for employers, as compared to less than one-third of those who responded a year ago. Just over 50 percent are working as journalists, and the rest are in corporate or nonprofit communications, business, etc.

Almost 25 percent (19 people) have started their own full-time or part-time ventures (InvestigateWest, PostGlobe, commercial photography, freelance writing/editing/graphics)

Five work part-time for employers and several of them also freelance

Nine are in school (web design, MFA, business, art)

Twenty percent (17 people) are on unemployment benefits, most nearing the end of their eligibility. Several are also students, freelance etc.

One is a full-time parent and two retired

For those who have managed to stay in journalism, most say they work more hours and get paid less than they did before the collapse of the P-I in March 2009.

Also, most of the folks who are relying on unemployment and struggling to find work are apparently 50 or older.

All in all, the situation Teichroeb reports is a depressing one, but better than her survey six months after the paper's shuttering showed.

And those who managed to keep their jobs on the P-I's skeleton staff can hold their heads high in producing what amounts to a competent and valuable online news operation, especially given the constraints they're under.

That said, those looking for a career in print journalism are still advised to undergo heavy face-slapping treatment until they snap out of it.

 
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