Thursday, March 06, 2008

Goodbye Newspapers (Sung to the Tune of Elton John's Goodbye Yellow Brick Road)

The demise of newspapers continues. The Mercury News, my old stomping grounds, plans to lay off 30 reporters and editors tomorrow. The paper once had 400 editorial employees; it will soon have 170.

My former colleague Michael Bazeley has a wonderful eulogy for the Merc.

Peggy Drexler wrote a moving opinion piece in the Chronicle today about the death of newspapers.

Here’s another view.

When I left the Mercury News nine years ago to write essays and books, I never thought it was a good career move. Now it looks like it was.


bookfraud said...

so much to say about this topic. my first editor, back in the late '80s, used to say that computers would never replace newspapers until they figured out a way to take them to the men's room. but it looks like he was wrong.

newspaper companies are generally profitable, the slide in classified advertising notwithstanding, but for the corporate heads running them, they're not profitable enough.

i don't see newspapers disappearing, but they may end up loss-leaders to support other media at mega-corporations (see news corp.) or as local, non-profit entities to serve the public. there aren't many startup newspapers these days, as opposed to web sites, which start up every time you sneeze.

Joanne Jacobs said...

Pete Carey's story says 20 newsroom people are gone including Steve Wright and Rebecca Salner.

I feel like I built my career in the buggy-whip industry.

But, you're right. Once you've been out in the freelance world for awhile you know how to handle erratic employment. It does help to be married to a guy with a steady job and group health insurance.