Bankrupt journalism because of the web?

Bankrupt journalism because of the web?

Washington City Paper, an alternative weekly newspaper in D.C., issued a story this week that is either hilarious or heartbreaking, depending on your perspective.

City Paper issued a fake press release and filed a fake "content bankruptcy" lawsuit against its readers, blaming the Internet for a decline in readership, profits, and the ability to provide quality content. There's even a fake FAQ section for concerned readers.

Incidentally, City Paper's parent company, Creative Loafing Inc., filed for Chapter 11 -- real bankruptcy -- protection a week earlier. Chief Executive Ben Eason told City Paper and Creative Loafing's other publications to pursue a "Web-first" publishing strategy.

The fake bankruptcy has created a stir in the media and the blogosphere and we'd wager it has achieved at least part of City Paper's likely objective. Besides satirizing the difficult situation for news publications, we bet the story got a helluva lot of Web hits.

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