Wow. I really let this one fall off the edge of the world.
Thank you to everyone who has commented…seriously almost all of them were extremely insightful and it’s nice to see that there are like-minded people out there who want to share ideas with me. Even you advertising advocates…
That being said, I’ve done some serious soul-searching since I last posted…
I attempted to get my master’s in criminal justice…was shy of obtaining it by a semester when I was offered yet ANOTHER job in a newsroom. After painfully flip-flopping like a true government politician (I may still have a future in public office), I decided to take the job. My mounting student debt was keeping me up at night and it wasn’t like I was going to law school with the consequential soul selling for at least $100K a year. There was no way to guarantee that I’d be able to pay back these loans and not live like a pauper for the succeeding 5 years. I don’t know how much I covered because I’m lazy and don’t want to go through my past posts but almost three years ago now, I left my job at northeast newspaper in a dramatic fashion.
My executive editor and I did not agree on many things. I understand his corporate attitude – it is how he has survived and done so well for himself. But just because I understand it – doesn’t mean I have to concede and let his way of succeeding be my way of flourishing, too.
In the end, I was given a few days to decide if I really wanted to resign and I turned in that infamous letter of resignation. It was polite, professional – sugar-coated the reasons I was leaving and gave ample notice. I do not regret that decision, though I will admit life was rough for a long time after that.
Before I start rambling, I was a breaking news/police reporter there and the criminal justice field very much piqued my interest. I packed up and flew a few thousand miles to an entirely different beast: Texas. Don’t ask me why, just know that I had friends there and I was looking for a lifestyle change. I got it – wasn’t my cup of…tequila and now I am back on the east coast working in a bigger (even though they’re not corporate) higher-ranked newspaper. I’m not reporting, so it will be interesting to write from this new perspective. I’m still editorial – I will never go to advertising (sorry), but it’s much more web focused as I have determined the digital department in any newsroom is the only one expanding, that pays decent and is pretty much the future.
So please, bear with me, as I am just getting back into this and keep the comments coming. I’ve got some great theories I’d like to run past people on the future of journalism.
Thanks for reading, really.
I haven’t updated for a very long time, but a lot has been going on in my life. I’ve been very busy at work, including obtaining a higher position along with a nice pay upgrade. So if the newspaper industry is hurting, at least it’s no affecting me negatively… yet.
News corporations all over the nation are looking at different ways to save money, with layoffs being a last resort. Some have done a sort of rat race to the finish line by making people already in good managerial positions re-interview for their jobs, regionalizing positions and only keeping the best. As you might know from reading my previous entries, other companies have furloughed (unpaid vacation) and some have decided that anyone making more than a certain (pretty high) amount of money will have to take a pay cut for one or two weeks.
Either way, my hopes are higher for the survival of newspapers. My feelings are still up in the air for whether the print version of them will ever be able to succeed the way it once did, but whether it’ll be in a weekly form, online form or whatever other form it could possibly take, writing reporters will always be aorund. Can you imagine if the only reporters that existed were the reporters on TV? Ugh.
With all the layoff scares and the demoralizing newspaper buzz, people that have survived layoff rounds in the newsroom are looking for other jobs… which means vacating their reporting positions.
Recently, I met with one of the editors of the newspaper I work for and he told me he is faced with an interesting but precarious situation. He is interviewing people for a reporting position, which is usually highly sought after because our newspaper is one of the largest in my state. But for once in his life, the people applying are extremely inexperienced.
That is probably leaving him in a weird position. How can you depend on someone without experience? The newspaper’s name is at stake, it’s reputation.
It seems that all the doubt clouding the air of job security at a newspaper has begun to really take affect. Less people want to work for newspapers and more are leaving to pursue much more secure jobs like teachers or professors at colleges.
My theory is in the early stages. People will lose their communication line if newspapers and media in general continue down this lane. What will happen if there was no one left to report the news? Interesting.
Posted in The End of Professional Journalism?
Tagged gannett, journalism, layoffs, leaving newspapers, low morale, low morale in the newsroom, mclatchy, newspaper layoffs, newspapers, newsroom, professional journalists, reliance on journalsim, reporters, surviving layoffs, tribune
So, if you haven’t noticed, I haven’t written a post in quite some time. But, fear not readers, I have not turned my back on this blog! I have just been extra busy.
With the layoffs in the newsroom, the workload has been more than some can handle. The newspaper has to go on, the news doesn’t stop, the stories don’t stop pouring in and the people don’t stop reading (hopefully, for now).
So the work is being redistributed adding extra responsibilities to everyone’s already cumbersome load. But, what else can we do?
So, with that said, I am still continuing to write for this blog, however it may not be as often. But don’t tune out, check back every now and then because I am learning how to better manage my time and will be able to write a little more frequently once I am completely adapted to this new heavier workload
The newsroom is a rather bleak place this week. Layoffs have been announced, but no one knows if the list has been completed yet. It is rumored that there are a few more days to announce the final few, so no one can exhale yet.
Having never experienced such drastic and immediate changes at work before, I have to say, I don’t think it’s something I can get used to. There were tears, hugs, angry faces, looks of confusion and boxes of things people had at their desks for what seemed like forever.
The newspaper I work for is owned by one of the three large corporate newspaper companies. I want the company to remain anonymous because I do love my job.
I wonder how the corporations chose who to layoff. I wonder if they just gave the same email out that everyone in my office got, explaining that there would be a 10% cut and the managing editors’ would have to meet their layoff quota. Were the managing editors’ really handed the reigns and told to cut people they feel are the least necessary? Or were they told to cut specific people.
Because from what I have seen and heard, the editors’ seemed very unaware of most of the changes until the very day they had to bring people in. And I know for a fact that one person would not have gotten laid off if it was up to his/her managing editor. The position ordered to be eliminated could only have come from a distant land (like corporate headquarters) that had absolutely no idea how it would affect the efficiency here at the ground level.
I know this is never a good time for any company, corporate or small. There isn’t an easy way to tell anyone who’s done nothing wrong to hit the bricks. But there has to be a better way to let people go. Calling them in like cattle while everyone around knows what’s happening is probably one of the worst ways to do it, other than announcing it over the intercom.