Monday, December 12, 2011

Profits über alles?

In another blow to newspapers, The Tampa Tribune announced it is laying off 165 people or about 16 percent of its workforce. While sad, the development was not wholly unexpected at the financially troubled Trib. But sadder still is the mindset exhibited by the "suits" at the newspaper. In an attempt to apply lipstick to this pig, John Schauss, vice president of market operations (and whose own job is presumably safe), said, "Going forward, we will still have more than 300 content generators across multiple media platforms in the Tampa market." Notice that Mr. VP said "content generators" rather than "journalists." He might as well have been referring to soybean and pork belly commodities in his futures portfolio. Yes, newspapers are obliged to make money and earn reasonable profits. But it's a shame that so many are being reduced to bare-bones sweatshops in order to do so, seemingly at the expense of journalism. Sigh.

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