Though we work in electronic media, some of us at Baristanet (okay, me and a handful of others) got our first professional experiences in print media. So as much as we appreciate and cheer on the surge of online journalism ventures, it’s still painful to watch further contraction in traditional print media – especially in our own backyard. When any branch of the media thins, lessening the chances that good journalism makes it way to the public, no one wins.
Yesterday, The Star Ledger announced further newsroom cuts that equal nearly 10 percent of its editorial staff, eliminating the jobs of 34 employees, including 18 editors, reporters, copy editors, photographers, news clerks and other editorial personnel – the biggest newsroom staff cuts ever.
On its website, publisher Richard Vezza attributed the cause of the paper’s largest newsrooms cuts in history to, “continuing financial pressures and the lingering effects of Hurricane Sandy, in an industry already hard hit by a steady decline in readership and sinking ad revenues.”
Job cuts began at the Ledger back in 2008 when 304 people accepted buyouts, with some 150 of them coming from the ranks of newsroom workers.
As a journalism-obsessed kid growing up in Essex County, I loved the thunk of the Ledger hitting our front porch every day, tossed by a cute paperboy on a bicycle who rarely missed his target.
Even when I’d moved on to different daily news habits – the New York Times, CNN, and various websites – it’s always been a little reassuring, when something happens in New Jersey, to know I can still pick up a copy of the Ledger at a local shop – just as people have been doing since 1832 when the paper began as the Newark Daily Advertiser.
How about you?