Perhaps stating the obvious–and maybe the obvious needs to be stated now and again when it’s suffocated by the shrill and the ignorant–but it’s a lousy time for journalism. How bad? Bad.
In the time it takes a college journalism student to earn three credits in reporting–one semester, four months or so–we’ve had:
• The arrest and criminal indictment of WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange (more on that in a minute)
• CNN moving to dramatically shrink its international operation with “consolidation” of its London
bureau. CNN was the last of the big broadcasters still paying serious attention to news outside the U.S.
• A BuzzFeed headline that it laid off 15% of its staff, about 250 employees. Also Huffington Post, Yahoo
and AOL axed journalists.
• News that GateHouse Media, one of the largest publishers in the U.S. with nearly 500 newspapers, is
laying off upwards of 200 employees.
• Vice Media laying off 250 in January
• Reports of 400 job losses at Gannett, 450 at McClatchy
• The sale of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, which has been publishing since well before the Civil War,
to a local rival which announced plans to fire the entire 161-member staff.
• And the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette announcing its intention to end weekday print editions and give all
subscribers an iPad–that’s newspaper-speak for yelling ‘uncle.’