GateHouse Media layoffs, reporter blasts the company


GateHouse Media has laid off seven people in the newsroom of the Norwich Bulletin. One of them was James Craven, an award-winning journalist with a pretty impressive talent of firing up righteous indignation.

Craven posted about the layoffs to his blog on the Bulletin’s site, saying that Gatehouse was “cannibaliz[ing] the newspaper.”

Unsurprisingly, the company removed his post, but Dan Kennedy captured a PDF of the post so it will live in perpetuity.

It blasts the paper for making the cuts despite being profitable (and despite paying a Gatehouse exec a $750,000 bonus last year). (“Merry Christmas, Mr. President,” Craven wrote.)

Craven also asks whether anyone will notice the effect of the cuts (less reporting). Probably not, he says. “The thing about reduced community coverage is that you do not notice it while it is happening. It is, if I may be so bold, like a cancer. It works below the surface, until one day when suddenly it becomes all too apparent.”

“The end result, if you will, is that as news staffs are cut, the responsibility for staying informed will fall more to you – the reader,” he continues. “If a reporter cannot be at a Harbor Commission meeting, a Finance Commission meeting or even a meeting of the City Council, then you – Joe Citizen – will have to be there. No more watching Dancing with the Stars, taking time to read a good book or spending time with the youngsters. After work, you will have to head for those civic meetings where decisions are made that might change your life, because, if you do not go – who will?”

Source: Media Bistro