“I cry for our industry”

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The Day’s editorial page editor Paul Choiniere wrote an opinion piece recently highlighting some of the losses at Gannett-owned newspapers in our area and what it means for local news.

Here’s an excerpt:

Hypocritically for a news company, Gannett hasn’t been transparent about how many jobs it is cutting, but it has been a lot, with older, experienced and, yes, higher-paid journalists being favored targets.

Last month the Pew Research Center reported that the number of newspaper newsroom employees dropped by 51% between 2008 and 2019, from about 71,000 workers to 35,000.

I cry for our industry and again count my good fortune in being in the employment of The Day, one of the last independents with an unusual business model that prioritizes product over profits. We’re not immune, and taking our lumps, but we’re trying.

Two recent Gannett cuts hit close to home for me and illustrate what is being lost.

In April, The Laurel reported on the layoffs sweeping through the largest newspaper publisher in the country. The company has lacked transparency regarding newsroom salary cuts and layoffs since its merger with GateHouse Media last fall.

Gannett has not responded to two email inquiries from The Laurel. It’s been nearly a month.