City Desk

Why Even Print the Washington Post?

The Post's Robert Wone controversy continues, at least in my mind.

Over the weekend, the paper's ombudsman, Andy Alexander, wrote in favor of the decision to go with a Web-only presentation of a two-part series by reporter Paul Duggan on the mysterious 2006 murder of Wone, a 32-year-old lawyer.

Here's why Alexander determined that editors made the right decision in restricting the piece to

The affluent and educated Washington market is unique. Post research shows that most area households have computers and that nearly 80 percent have broadband access. Even among households where The Post is read only in print, 86 percent have a computer and 81 percent accessed the Internet in the past 30 days. So while those readers may not like to read online, they have the capability.

And there's yet another crock of nonsense muttered in connection with the Wone two-parter. That well sure does run deep.

I mean, nice job by Alexander getting statistical in his analysis—that's what real reporters do. But if this region is so wired, and if print subscribers have broadband oozing out of their floorboards, then why have a print edition of the Washington Post to begin with?

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  • Angry Al Gonzales

    Our second beautiful thunderstorm today! Thank you, Thor!
    The Post committed journalistic suicide by its embrace of the Bush policies. It is purposefully headed to becoming a publication for a very small, niche audience.
    Good riddance. It has contributed little for over a decade.

  • Dave McKenna

    the marketing slogan for the Wone series, "If you get it, you don't get it!" was a little mean to us subscribers...

  • Michael J. West

    Erik, that headline/closing question is awfully on-the-nose, don'tcha think?

  • 2b3s

    This is the future of how newspapers will continue to fund (very expensive) investigative journalism in a world where print advertising is dead. Eventually, WaPo and the like will charge a nominal fee for on-line access to in-depth articles like "M.o.S.T." This model, I think, is preferable to no investigative journalism at all.

  • Terry Miller

    I get the Post precisely because I DO NOT LIKE reading the paper on the computer!