Gannett announced today that it is going to layoff another 700 newsroom staffers.
While we have sought many ways to reduce costs, I regret to tell you that we will not be able to avoid layoffs. Accordingly, approximately 700 employees within USCP, or about 2% of our company’s overall workforce, will be let go.
I sympathise with those who are being laid off in this economy. Reporters who are let go have virtually no chance of finding a job that will provide the income and status that they currently enjoy. It's not simply that their company is dying, their profession is dying. I have no idea why anyone has enrolled in the Journalism school.
I'm sure that reporters will say that they are victims of the economy and to a certain extent that's true. But yesterday, I provided a good example of why the newspaper industry is declining so rapidly. Monday's Republic lead with a story by Daniel Gonzalez that was pure propaganda. The story was about a guy in Tucson who opposes Israel's policy in Gaza. The story had no local news value, and was simply a thinly veiled swipe at United States's immigration policy. Meanwhile, important stories that don't fit the media narrative--like Fast and Furious scandal and Mindy Shields indictment--are ignored.
Editors and reporters don't seem to understand that propaganda pieces like that really tick off readers. Those readers then complain to other readers and eventually people get fed up and cancel their subscriptions.
I'm sure the media planners buy into the narrative that younger readers don't subscribe yada yada. But how do you explain the constant cancellations by middle age adults? Why are subscription rates falling in the fastest growing county in the nation? Sure, some of the readers decide to just get their news from the web. But there is a significant number who prefer to subscribe, but simply can't handle the propaganda.
So if you are a news professional, take a moment and read the Gonzalez piece. Ask yourself why it was on A 1 and, in a moment of introspection, admit that it was pure agenda journalism and that most of the Republic readers probably support Israel's right to defend its borders as well as the US right to defend our own borders.
Subscribers who see crap like that on the front page eventually get pissed off and cancel. That's why you are going home early today.
Say goodbye to Daniel on your way out.