No, this is not about GOP tax reduction. It’s another round of layoffs at the once-mighty Arizona Republic.
It was reported recently that many of their newsroom and editorial staffers were going to have to interview for their own jobs. Which of course sparked rumors of more cuts.
Phoenix Biz Journal’s Hayley Ringle reports this morning that at least six positions have been cut, and she got quotes from journalist-victim Phil Haldiman. I never got a chance to meet Phil but I appreciated his reporting, particularly on issues in our neighboring town of Paradise Valley…before another brilliant AZR managerial move that shuffled him to West Valley focus.
Phil’s words capture the essence of the slow death of real journalism in Arizona:
“I cannot impart the importance of vigilant watchdog reporting, and the presence of a reporter at almost every city/town council meeting in this vast Valley. That is what the Republic provides, no other news organization here provides that, and I believe it is an important service to the great residents of this state.
“With this lay-off, that presence will diminish as it has continued to do so over the years. Ultimately the fallout is that government checks and balances will reside more and more in the hands of the public. And what that means, only the future will tell.”
And a Facebook post by Scottsdale-based reporter Edward Gately this morning seems to indicate he got the ax, too.
By getting rid of folks who supply the raw product that is the essence of newspapers–news–and then shuffling remaining reporters around to the point where they no longer grasp the context within which their stories have developed, the Republic becomes more-and-more just a legacy masthead for a subscription version of Junk-mail Tuesday.
Take a moment to ‘follow’ Gately, Haldiman and Ringle on Twitter; and if anyone wants to fund a start-up newspaper, now’s a good time.
On this we agree. The Arizona Republic is going through a slow death from a quality stand point. Since they ran the local papers out of business with their “community” sections, the coverage for the local cities is waning.
Of course the Arizona Republic is shedding reporters, they don’t report news. They want readers or clicks for revenue. Not hard hitting news, that is to dry and doesn’t get revenue. Look at ASU, what does this local bastion of education offer the news reporters of tomorrow? Well look a the title – Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. See the second part of the title, Mass Communication.
The world has changed, the Internet and mass communication (smart phones, smart or Internet enabled everything) has made long news stories irrelevant to so many people. They have no idea who Walter Cronkite is, they don’t want to be told the news, they want the glam, the glitz, the horror and dirt. That is the new ‘news’
So as I look at my old copy of the print Arizona Republic given to me as child (by an actual reporter), I can one day show my grand children what a newspaper was. I can tell them what a news reporter did. Then they will probably go back to their phones or some other device and think I am the crazy old coot. Heck today, I try to find a news article in the Arizona Republic and when I rant about it, I am the crazy old coot! For the record I am only 44!
I remember when I moved here permanently from Kansas City in 1989 how I not only took the Republic but also the afternoon Phoenix Gazette. It’s sad how the newspaper business has deteriorated since then and it’s not all because of the competition. As we have seen in recent years from the Republic, it has become nothing but a liberal shill. Rather than recognizing the problem, it keeps pounding that drum. Now they are cutting back again. Pretty soon they will be able to run the thing off on a Xerox machine.