Wednesday, June 22, 2011

6% Less News At the Enquirer

According to the information I was able to analyse the latest round of layoffs at the Enquirer yesterday totaled 10 people from the news team. I count that as over 6% of the team charged with gathering, editing and putting out the newspaper and its websites. This doesn't include the outside bloggers affiliates 'working' for the paper. This also doesn't count the reportedly 8-9 other non-news people laid off from the paper.

So we get less news, Gannett big-wigs get bonuses and pay raises, and shareholders get a small short bump in share price.  A deal worthy of Wall Street.

People have been saying for many years now that newspapers are dead. I thought that was bullshit. I knew they were shells of what they used to be, but they would stick around, maybe online only. Maybe they would start using a pay wall. I just didn't think they could cut more reporters. This layoff actually cut news gathering by 4 people. There are now 4 fewer people at the paper who had the job of gathering news and writing about it. I don't know how they will be replaced. Either using more freelancers or just cover the same limited coverage with fewer people and wind up with that 6% less news.

We the people of Cincinnati need to actually start thinking about what we will do when the Enquirer goes away. I understand that most conservatives will point to the free market, but Democracy does not exist without a free press, even a flawed newspaper like the Enquirer. No other outlet does what it does. It serves as the source of most of the news that is reported in Cincinnati. This news gathering is a service that must continue. I don't know how, but we need it, so we better start planning how to live in a post newspaper world. If we don't, the mindless drones who don't bother paying attention or just listen to the propaganda outlets will be the majority, if they aren't already. That's how fascism literally starts, not the rhetorical kind people like to claim exists now.  Start thinking now and get your face out of the reality TV shows for a few minutes, OK?

2 comments:

  1. I believe The Enquirer has to be blamed as well. Part of the reason they are declining, of course, is because of the free news of the internet. However, shoddy/biased/conservative/lazy journalism also plays a role in its demise. I hate to see people let go since they are the pawns, but the system in place at the Enquirer is horrible for reading impartial news.

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  2. As a newcomer to Cincinnati I followed the Enquirer to try and understand this new place I call home. We bought Subday editions and I followed regularly through Twitter. But about a month ago I quit. I'd had enough of the sordid sensationalism, I'd had enough of knowing about every shot fired in OTR but not a thing about actual Cincy politics (actually their horridly un-factual headline about the streetcar sealed the deal). Perhaps there is no one big newspaper but I get much more substantive coverage from this blog and the Cincy Beat. I also feel for those who lost jobs, but maybe this opens the door for other "non-mainstream" sources to fill the mainstream void. If the Enquirer is the only thing holding us back from the totalitarian brink, we're already lost.

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