MEDIA WATCHATE! Twenty layoffs at the San Antonio paper: Does anybody read the newspaper anymore (besides the New York Times)?
I read the local paper, the San Antonio Express-News, searching for a nugget about political officials, corruption, the Edwards Aquifer and the golf resort that's threatening it, why the streets are flooding with all the rains, etc. But we get stories about Eva Longoria and Tony Parker, football, and praise for our military heroes. (Remember, we have four bases here).
Nobody under thirty years old I know reads the paper. If they're halfway educated, they scan it online, otherwise, they buy it on Fridays for the Weekend Guide and on Sundays for the coupons and the Sports Section. That's it.
I heard last night from a good source that twenty people were laid off in the latest round, I say that because about half-a-dozen people got their pink slips a month ago or so.
In reading the paper today, there was no mention of the layoffs. Who cares?
I do. Before you read who got the shove, let me remind you who's been kicked out already one way or the other: (These are not in chronological order)
1. I got the boot as a monthly columnist in 2001 for writing against revenge after 9/11 and THE WAR.
2. Julio Noboa: another freelance columnist who wrote about the suffering of the Palestinians. He was against THE WAR.
3. Dick Reavis: prize-winning chingon reporter who was known for his ANTI-WAR stance and stories about social and political injustice
4. Enrique Rangel: smart and respected journalist/columnist whose view of US/Mexico politics was moderate and who was also against the WAR
5. Rod Davis: PEN-prized novelist and Travel Editor who was suspended for two weeks for writing a column against THE WAR
6. Jan Jarboe: Texas Monthly writer and biographer and limousine-liberal columnist who was too liberal for the SAEN. She certainly was to the right-of-me, but not right-enough for them.
7. Susan Yerkes: Society columnist who was an out-feminista.
8. Macarena Hernandez: Beautiful, brainy, Berkeley-grad who wanted to weigh in on feature stories and the SAEN inner circle wouldn't let her. (She told me this). So she left for the Dallas Morning News.
Shall I go on? You think San Antonio can lose this talent? Now, tell me again, why are those young men and women dying over there? For our democracy? And how are we supposed to keep what we have without a fair and balanced and free press?
For those journalists in San Antonio who didn't believe it would happen to them, welcome to the real world. You been played.
Just because we don't read newspapers anymore doesn't mean we don't need news. We need your pen more than ever. Use it. Now.
And in this magic-rabbit time of the internet before Murdock buys it all, here is the only news item as reported by Poynter-Online, (the Journalists' Thinktank.)
On Thursday, Romenesko was forwarded this e-mail written by a San Antonio Express-News staffer:
We had a round of layoffs yesterday, which followed some early
retirements. Twenty managers throughout the paper got the ax. Three were assistant managing editors in editorial: news resource (there are four or five people who do nothing but research for reporters and graphics); the graphics art and photo AME and the projects/Sunday AME.
I asked the paper for confirmation. Editor Bob Rivard is off taking his son to college, but Express-News public editor Bob Richter sent this e-mail:
I can confirm the newsroom layoffs only; not sure yet about the total
number paperwide. Here are the newsroom positions lost: Hallie Paul, assistant managing editor/design, graphics and photo; Kathy Foley, assistant managing editor/news research and technology; and Robert Kaiser, assistant managing editor/Sunday and writing coach. Their final day on the payroll is Aug. 31. As an aside, Hallie Paul had planned to retire from the newspaper in the coming year.
My understanding is there was not a memo or written notice from corporate. Bob Rivard made an announcement to editors at the news budget meeting Wednesday afternoon, and asked them to pass along the word to the rest of the staff.
credits: Dog Poster, www.art.com