Thursday, July 03, 2008

More newspaper job cuts. So why go to J-school?

Here’s another AP story [excerpts] announcing job cuts at newspapers. Comments follow below the star line.

The Los Angeles Times plans to cut 250 positions, including 150 jobs in the print and online news departments, amid a continuing industrywide slump in ad sales, the paper's editor said Wednesday. ...

[The] paper will undergo a makeover by the fall that will cut pages by 15 percent per week, eliminate some sections and trim story length, [editor Russ] Stanton said. ...

The move followed an announcement last week that the paper's parent, Tribune Co., is exploring the sale of its headquarters in Chicago and the building in downtown Los Angeles that houses the Times.

A half-dozen major newspapers announced layoffs last week totaling about 900 jobs.

Also Wednesday, Journal Sentinel Inc. said it would cut about 10 percent of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's 1,300 full-time employees, and Media General Inc. said it would lay off 21 newsroom employees at The Tampa Tribune by early fall as part of a one-fifth cut in its news staff. ...

The Times' weekday circulation fell 5.1 percent from a year earlier to 773,884 in March, while the Sunday edition fell 6.1 percent to 1.1 million, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations. That ranked it fourth and second in the nation, respectively. ...

Hiller did not provide details on the severance terms to be offered but said he expected they would be similar to earlier staff buyouts, including payment equivalent to two weeks' salary for every year of service, up to 52 weeks. (emphasis added)

The paper cut 100 jobs, including at least 40 in the newsroom, in February. Continuing reductions have pared the Times' news staff from its 2001 level of nearly 1,200. ...

The entire AP story's here.


This is not the first time a newspaper has announced job cuts but no details about severance packages. That's usually a sign the packages won't be much. If they were, the newspaper would be crowing.

In days past, if a major company had announced job cuts and said nothing about the content of severance packages, newspapers would have been all over that company with "the public's right to know" demands and editorials the next day denouncing "the insensitivity and secretness of executives who yesterday announced job cuts without letting the workers know what kind of severance packages they are to receive."

But when newspapers do the job-cutting, the old double standard comes into play.

Commenter Archer 05 offers some spot on observations:

Where are all the J-School graduates going to find jobs? Friends of mine are critical of colleges expanding their journalism departments for a diminishing profession.

Professional journalists writing ads for glossy brochures doesn’t fit well with the expense of their $150,000 education. Telling students 70% will find a J-job, without telling them, it may not be the job they seek, is bandit-like behavior, IMO.

Also, professional journalists are complaining that semi-professional bloggers are taking their jobs!

Maybe some of these semi-J’s are more fact based, and that is why they are well received.

Message to J-school students: Pay attention to what Archer 05 is saying.

Message to the non-journalists at newspapers: I'm very sorry you’re caught in a bad situation not of your making.

Message to able, honest journalists: The same goes for you. I'm very sorry.


Anonymous said...

To continue the J-school saga, I now have four acquaintances that have lost their journalism jobs.

They have student loans to repay, career plans that have been destroyed, and they are facing a job market with the wrong skills. Two have moved back home with their parents. One has applied for a job with the Post Office.

They complain that newspapers are unionized, and that the deadwood is remaining, while the new energy is pink-slipped. One McClatchy editor opined that he is losing all his diversity journalists he worked so hard to recruit.

Sadly, they are so indoctrinated into liberalism, they don’t see the bias in their writing. IMO, once readers have discerned liberal bias, and loss of integrity, there is no re-branding, say of the New York Times.

Why did the MSM think they would rule the news roost forever? They didn’t realize the chickens would come home in the guise of JIC, and other bloggers for truth.

Danvers said...

Friends of mine are critical of colleges expanding their journalism departments for a diminishing profession.

They are probably making room and jobs for those journalists who find themselves out of work! Just another way of ripping off the taxpayer at State Universities, and unsuspecting parents at Private Universities

Anonymous said...

J-school professor speaks:
Just because journalism may not pay well does not mean there shouldn’t be programs to train people. Not everyone cares about money— it’s about passion.

Would anyone care to bet that these are the words of a passé Marxist professor? The old ’Let them eat cake’ slogan.
However, There is a New York Times article:
-The ’60s Begin to Fade as Liberal Professors Retire-
And, I'll believe that when I see it!

LayoffGossip said...

People always hate to talk about when they are laid off. But as it has become every day's news headline since Yahoo started it with cutting 1500 of its task force last year, now a need of platform has been in demand where people can express their selves in words how they are feeling about their company, whey the got laid off was that justified or not.
And every thing they want to tell anonymously.And is providing you that platform.