Friday, December 19, 2008

Lansing Journal layoffs symbolize an industry in trouble

When Gannett announced a wave of cuts to staff at newspapers around the country, it also eliminated some of the longest serving media representatives from local news outlets. And that has some in the news industry questioning where those newspapers will go from here.
At the Lansing State Journal, the publishers terminated several staffers from their entertainment department, including 34-year veteran reporter Mike Hughes. That move, combined with a buyout of Capitol Correspondent Chris Andrews, has competitor City Pulse asking questions.

Among the concerns expressed included the replacement of these senior reporters with less experienced, and there fore lower paying reporters.

“Clearly young people are great. They bring new ideas but they don’t know the players. They don’t know the history and as a result stories, even by Gannett standards, are shallow,” said City Pulse editor and publisher Berl Schwartz in a phone interview. “They are hurting already because it gives a little news hole to the paper.”

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