New Orleans will become the largest city in the United States without a daily newspaper, publishing in print only three days a week.
Yesterday management announced that the paper would lay off 200 employees, including half of the newsroom’s 169 reporters, photographers, and editors and publish a print edition only three days a week.
It will try to survive as a largely digital entity: NOLA
An AP story reported:
The newspapers’ parent company, Advance Publications, is shifting its focus in the digital age. Papers have struggled in recent years as print advertising declined during the recession, and newspapers have yet to learn how to make online advertising as profitable as its printed counterpart.
Say what? You haven’t learned to make online advertising pay so it makes a lot of sense to cut print and go digital?
I’m not sentimental about the roar of the presses or the smell of ink. It’s not the loss of the ‘paper’ part of newspaper that I mourn when a daily fires staff and goes digital, it’s the loss of the ‘news’ part.
Our local daily papers are our first line of defense against state and local shenanigans and skullduggery. Old-timers in local newsrooms are more likely to nose out local fraud or dishonesty in local government and business than a freshly minted J School grad or intern who has no corporate memory of the city’s history.
As staff size is reduced I’m afraid we’ll see the end of the long form, investigative, story in the interest of the “late breaking news” mentality of television journalism. Maybe the Times-Pic will survive as this new kind of journalistic enterprise. I wish the survivors well, but I’m skeptical
Read, or listen to, an NPR story here.