Plain Dealer makes News - Is your morning paper going away? - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Plain Dealer makes News - Is your morning paper going away?

Crowd gathers for public forum on The Plain Dealer Crowd gathers for public forum on The Plain Dealer

It may seem like an odd turn of events - the people covering the news now making the news themselves. That's exactly what's happening at the Plain Dealer - a newspaper that's been around for over one hundred and sixty years at risk of becoming extinct - at least in its printed form.

"I'm one of those people. I like to have the paper in my hand. I have my iPhone in my pocket, but I don't like to read news online. I like to read it in the paper," says Elizabeth Parsons of Shaker Heights.

Plain Dealer Reporters and other staff now heading up forums like these to save their newspaper.  The Plain Dealer has announced that they will reduce the size of the staff by a third by next spring.  The Plain Dealers owner, Advance Publications has reduced print publications to three days a week in other cities.

"It's the underlying journalism at risk here. When you have experienced people with institutional knowledge who are thrown out, you can't replace that," says Harlan Spector who chairs the Newspaper Guild at the Plain Dealer.

Experts say what we're witnessing is the digital revolution.

"When was the last time you bought a CD? You probably download now. What has happened is people download the content they want and put it in the format that is most convenient for them," adds Afi Scruggs, who blogs about the transformation of the paper. 

What will the newspaper look like five years from now? Reporters who are charged with seeking all the answers don't seem to have the answer to that one.

"I'd like to think that the newspaper companies that are making the right moves are still going to be providing people with reliable information whether that happens in Cleveland, I have some real doubts," says Harlan Spector. 

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