So I checked out the fantastic Romemesko blog today--the place where all the journalism geeks go to get their media-news fix.
And what I found was depressing. Among today's postings, the headlines included:
Meanwhile, rumors are running rampant that the Star's asking reporters to work fewer hours; the San Francisco Chronicle is hacking its staff; etc., etc.
Most of these cuts (although not necessarily all of them) are typical of the dumb-ass greed of today's newspaper companies. It happens all the time: A newspaper has an off quarter or year, profits-wise (they're still profitable, mind you, just not AS profitable as shareholders or management wants); they respond by cutting staff/resources to keep profits high; the paper's quality invariably suffers; readers/advertisers notice this and stop reading/buying ads; a newspaper has an off quarter or year, profits-wise; repeat cycle.
This is slightly oversimplifying, yes, but the fact is that GREED--not Craigslist or the Internet or these young whippersnappers today who have short attention spans--will kill off most newspapers as we know them by 2020.
It's sad. I just hope newspaper shareholders and owners get their heads out of their asses and realize that innovation and reinvestment, not insane budget cuts, are the keys to the future. I am not optimistic.