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The Online Version of Seattle's Newspaper Strike

Early yesterday morning, members of the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Guild at Seattle's two dailies, The Seattle Times and Post-Intelligencer, walked off their jobs and began an all out strike.

The last strike at The Times was in 1953. The last strike against the P-I was in 1936. So what role does the internet and online news sources play in this year 2000 strike?

Seattle Times Corporate Communications Manager Kerry Coughlin told seattle.internet.com that the Seattle Times is by no means relying entirely on its online version during the strike - since the print version will continue to be published as usual.

"What we might do...is turn to the online version to publish a more complete story if we are limited in space due to a reduction in the size of the print edition," says Coughlin.

Coughlin also believes that the online version can be another option for readers that for some reason do not receive the paper to their home. Seattle Times President Mason Sizemore has admitted that some routes may go without service.

The online version of The Seattle Times ( www.seattletimes.com) is currently up-to-date, including a story on the strike itself. According to Coughlin, maintenance of the site, including such things as html coding should not be an issue, because members of the site's production team are not guild members.

However, it seems that some readers might opt to get the latest coverage on the strike from other sources.

In fact, the strike apparently is already having some of the other online news sources in town gearing up for an expected increase in their traffic. Seattle.internet.com has learned that the interactive media team at king5.com , for example, is providing extensive coverage of the strike.

Interesting enough, guild members on strike have announced that they will publish both a print and online newspaper of their own.

While, the print version hasn't hit the newsstands yet, the online version of Union Record (www.unionrecord.com) hit the netstands yesterday.

Union Record, which features everything from strike updates to world news, apparently was launched at minute's notice. "We're feeling good just for having launched it in about a week. Didn't even buy our Macs until Saturday," says Managing Editor Chuck Taylor.