31 August 2010

The Deseret News layoffs

From the Associated Press:
Utah's longest publishing daily newspaper said Tuesday it will cut nearly half of its staff and consolidate breaking news operations with affiliated television and radio operations.

The Deseret News announced that 85 newsroom positions are being eliminated, although some staffers will be enlisted for a transition period. The layoffs include 57 full-time and 28 part-time employees.
This is sad news for anyone in the business of writing. The paper was founded in 1850, more than 150 years ago. For such a longstanding institution to be forced into this position is pretty amazing.

Though considering the recent fates of Newsweek magazine and the Washington Times newspaper, maybe this shouldn't be such a shock.

This is a sticky issue, and I know after newspapers put their product on the internet for free back in the late 90's it's been hard to put a lid back on that box, but you have to remember someone produces the news. Someone gathers it. Someone edits it. Someone creates the layout, whether print or digital. This stuff doesn't come out of thin air, and those who are responsible for informing us about the goings on in our cities and states and countries and world will be compensated for it.

This is the case unless the demand for news sinks so low there just isn't any financial incentive to do it anymore, but I don't see that happening anytime soon.

Maybe we'll see it once we reach the point of Idiocracy, but that's a while off yet.

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