“If you can write, you’ll always have a job” one of our journalism professors told us a long time ago, although for hundreds of American reporters, where (and what) that job might end up being is becoming less certain these days.
After basically electing Barack Obama to the presidency, many mainstream media scribes may be rewarded for their efforts by waiting in Great Depression-Style unemployment lines for one of his New Deal 2.0 construction jobs (like these, or these).
Today the Boston Globe announced it was slashing 50 jobs, a day after another Top 20 paper, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, filed for bankruptcy.
Earlier this week Gannett, the largest newspaper publisher in America, said it would force workers to schedule a week off without pay. This comes on the heels of 3,000 lost jobs in 2008 that included several positions being cut at the Greenville News.
Last month, the Seattle Times cut over 30 jobs from its newsroom and editorial staff, although it’s faring much better than the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, which will be forced to close its doors if no buyer is found for it by the end of this month - a fate shared by the Rocky Mountain News.
Cox News is closing its Washington D.C. bureau in April, while putting the Austin American-Statesman and several of its smaller papers up for sale in a desperate attempt to raise money.
Ditto for McClatchy, which is trying in vain to find a buyer for the Miami Herald in an effort to put a dent in the company’s $2 billion debt.
Owners of La Socialista (a.k.a. The State) and several other South Carolina papers, McClatchy has seen its stock value disappear almost completely this year.
The Tribune Company has already filed for bankruptcy, slashing 400 positions in the process, and the New York Times just took out a second mortgage on its new building to help pay down its $225 million debt.
The trend is just as bad North of the border, where last month Quebecor Inc’s Sun Media announced it was cutting 600 jobs - or 10% of the work force of Canada’s largest newspaper publisher.