August 14, 2008

Gannett to lay off 3 percent of workforce

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:09 pm by R

Gannett, parent company to USA Today, announced that it will be eliminating 1,000 jobs from its newspaper division or roughly three percent of its workforce.

This cut is just one in a series of cutbacks by various newspapers and their holding companies over the past summer.

Gannett sites decreased advertising revenues and lower classified income for the need to eliminate jobs. A spokesperson for Gannett said the job cuts would be administered through layoffs, early buyout packages for retirees and attrition. The layoffs are estimated to impact 600 workers.

Gannett owns both the Arizona Republic and local NBC affiliate KPNX. I hope to GOD they don’t cut any of the talented staff at either facility. I know from experience in working with many of the Republic journalists that they are a) exceptional reporters b) already over worked.

Each media job cut announcement makes me so nervous about the quality of the news we will receive and be able to contribute to. As we wade through this muddied economy it’s critical to keep telling stories so that the news-devouring public percolates solutions, is aware of what is happening for the fellow community and is in tune with what our government is doing.

Free press is serves the same function as public eduation really…or at least our founding fathers intended for it to. It’s meant to keep us informed and open minded. Especially in an election year, we need strong accurate reporting to cover issues that are important to voters on a local and national level so that come November each voter makes their most informed decision. What we don’t need is news on the decline with over-dedicated resources unable to report on stories that shape voter opinion and keep readers tuned into the needs and trends of their communities.

More cuts also mean increasingly challenging pitching environments for PR practitioners. With additional workloads, reporters will need us to be more tailored with our pitching, knowledgeable about the beats they cover and targeted with our information. Get creative folks and be prepared to offer precise information including:

  • Statistics
  • Graphs
  • Pre-qualified resources & examples
  • Photos (300 dpi or greater!)
  • Sidebar information

As long as these cuts continue (and I expect to post a few more of these) we have to be attuned to the new challenges many journalists will be experiencing in the newsroom. Although none of this is good news, it does present the opportunity to be a support system for people we rely on to tell client stories.

Make like a pair of pantie hoes and show some support!

~Robyn

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