The Cleveland Plain Dealer has laid off one-third of its staff. Two decades ago, the newspaper had 340 journalists. Now it's down to 33.
Nationwide, more than 2,400 media jobs have been cut this year – about 26 gone per dayhttps://t.co/K2KlWnGTdZ
— Mike Rosenberg (@ByRosenberg) April 2, 2019
“about 26 gone per day.”
That’s about how many journalists I had to lay off one day in June 2007. (I wrote about it here.) The paper wasn’t hitting its profit margin expectations, and it was determined we had too many journalists. (Other newspaper employees were laid off, too, but the newsroom carried the heaviest load.)
That day, the supervisor of the press room said to me “We’re killing our seed corn.”
He knew that readers came to the paper primarily because of the stories journalists produced. Eliminating journalists eliminates local coverage and makes the paper less compelling. More dispensable.
As it turned out, truer words have never been spoken.