By Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson
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The death of a modern newspaper is a real-time, multimedia event. When journalists on the Rocky Mountain News were summoned to their Denver newsroom on February 26 to be told they were working on their final edition, they relayed the announcement through live blogs, online videos, slide shows of tearful colleagues and a minute-by-minute stream of updates on Twitter. “It’s odd to cover your own funeral,” read one tweet.
Bad news about America’s newspapers is tumbling out too fast for their presses to keep up. The closure of “the Rocky” after 150 years capped a week in which the Journal Register Company and the 180-year-old Philadelphia Inquirer joined the owners of the Chicago Tribune and Minneapolis Star Tribune in bankruptcy proceedings.
Hearst is threatening to close the San Francisco Chronicle – and on Monday said it would make the Seattle Post-Intelligencer an online-only publication. Gannett, owner of USA Today, has followed The New York Times in slashing its dividend to preserve cash. Titles from the venerable Cincinnati Post to the six-year-old New York Sun have folded.