Monday, August 29, 2011

Another hit to local journalism

An area newspaper is taking a big hit, and it isn't the Tracy Press. It's a paper that competes with the Press for local coverage: The San Joaquin Herald.

The Herald is the San Joaquin edition of the Tri-Valley Herald, owned by Bay Area News Group, which also owns pretty much every major paper between here and San Francisco that isn't named "Weekly" or "Chronicle."

Soon, it'll be known as The Times, and will officially be merged with the Contra Costa Times and East County Times. But re-naming isn't important — ANG has repackaged the same content for different papers for years. What's big news is the company is using the consolidation as an opportunity to lay off 40 people from its newsrooms — 17 percent of its news staff.

While the company claims this will allow it to "offer additional value for readers," it's hard to imagine how employing fewer news-gatherers will help these papers — ostensibly news-gathering organizations — better inform the people who turn to them to help make sense of the world.

Some might think the Press would celebrate a competitor downsizing, but that's far from the case. No blow to the journalism industry — and fellow journalists — is welcomed. No one here wants to see more journalists unemployes and less vital information get to the hands of our readers.

1 comment:

Danielle Nadler said...

Wow, I didn't know about this. Thanks for the update. Now who will I work for when I return to NorCal (someday...)?