May 22, 2009

Lack of humans provides today's smiles

Twice in one day, I've run across examples where an editor would have helped just a bit.

For instance, I've been collecting articles about journalists who have moved onto new careers or new jobs outside of newspapers. The Daily Record published "Former newspaper reporter takes buyout, starts new career at home."

The news organization also tries to help readers find more stories you might be interested in. Unfortunately, the former Newhouse employee said this:
"I wanted to be a reporter since I was 12, and I loved every minute of it," she said. "Newspapers will go the way of the dinosaur because of declining advertising and the Internet."
And that's why Topix decided I might want to read news about dinosaur and paleontology instead of other ex-journalists who created businesses that use their writing and editing skills.

Not quite as funny was the report out about 11 a.m. Thursday that "Detroit papers say more readers kept than expected." I saw it on Editor & Publisher; Crain's Detroit and and the part that intrigued me was the last of four paragraphs:

"Free Press Editor and Publisher Paul Anger said at Thursday's panel discussion that the economy continues to hurt revenue, but he did not discuss potential cuts or layoffs."
I wanted to know what panel discussion and where because the four paragraphs wasn't enough for me.

Besides, if this really did happen Thursday it was said just hours before a staff memo announced June 22 as a deadline for cutting 150 jobs at the Detroit News and Free Press. (Among those who may be cut is a reporter who just won a Pulitzer.) Crain's published some details about the Free Press newsroom cuts.

At 4 p.m., a Google search found 118 articles across the Internet - all the same, all credited to Associated Press.

I was eager for details, but really was only offered a paragraph similar to this:
"Officials with The Detroit News, Detroit Free Press and the partnership that handles their business operations say they have seen increased Web traffic and single-copy sales since March 30. That was the day the papers limited home delivery to Thursday, Friday and Sunday as a to deal with declining circulation and changing readership tastes."
So I guess I'm left to wonder why the editor/publisher spoke to what panel today about the success of the drop home delivery plan that still requires staff layoffs.

OK, before I head for the showers, have you seen Jilted Journalists? The opening page starts:
So welcome print, online, broadcast reporters, editors, photographers, bloggers, designers, ad salespeople, circulation folks, press operators, TV camera people, continuity directors, techs, producers, business office staff and all the others who once were fooled into thinking they not only had good careers and job security but decent 401(k) and pension plans that would last into their retirement years.
The site is created by:
"Jim and Sue Gold and a group of recently laid off journalists, their spouses, friends and frenemies.

Contact in chief: Jim Gold, a past senior editor (not an age designation when he got the title) at The Arizona Republic, a past editor in chief at The Record of Stockton, Calif., a past assistant managing editor at the Reno Gazette-Journal, and a past variety of writing, reporting, photography, production, circulation and ad sales titles at a variety of papers in California and Massachusetts. But he's not a pastor. "


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