Schneider will reincarnate his Secret Ingredients health blog at www.andrewschneiderinvestigates.com. Paulson, who was unique in his bloglessness at the P-I, said he is unsure what he will do next, but will continue to promote science journalism as a board member of the National Association of Science Writers and president of the Northwest Science Writers Association. And Eric Nalder, the P-I’s chief investigative reporter, whom the others credited with doing excellent science and environment work, has taken a job as Hearst newspapers’ “senior enterprise reporter.”
As for what will become at the SeattlePI.com, nobody is sure. Managing editor Michelle Nicolosi and Hearst executives did not return calls or e-mails asking why no members of the science-environment-health team were asked to stay on, and what the outlook is for such reporting there without them.
It can’t be good. Though all the P-I’s former reporters wished the online version well, they doubt the same kind of incisive journalism that existed in the past will be possible with such a reduced staff. And while it’s some consolation that most of them remain committed to science journalism, they said their coverage will likely have an increasingly national and international focus. Indeed, independent blogs and Web sites still do not have the same impact as well-funded reporting distributed by a large newspaper with some institutional clout.
“We have an independent bookstore in town here called Elliott Bay, and they make these little pins,” Schneider told me, a bit wistfully. “One of them says, ‘So many stories, so little time.’ I had no idea how true that was going to be until they closed the paper.”