Posts Tagged ‘ journalism ’
filed under: bad ideas |
BY Daily Dose
With an eye to cutting costs by $1.2 million, Providence Journal managers will proceed with layoffs in November. Ian Donnis at WRNI spoke with Newspaper Guild President John Hill,
He says ProJo managers are determining which positions in news and advertising will be eliminated. Once those decisions are announced in November, Hill says, employees will be offered the opportunity to take buyouts. Buyouts could reduce the number of layoffs, he says.
Hill says he doesn’t know how the layoffs will be divided between news and advertising. A rough estimate has indicated $1.2 million in reductions could equal about 15 positions.
Bob Plain, writing at RI’s Future, reminds us that just last March Belo executives gave themselves some hefty raises. So things are looking up in Dallas. Meanwhile, back in Rhode Island . . . more unemployment and less investigative journalism.
We need our newspapers.
BY Beth Comery
A sad day indeed. Ian Donnis and Scott MacKay report on the new staffing cuts at the Providence Journal and offer up a brief history of the ProJo’s sad decline from one of the finest privately-owned papers in the country to now. (WRNI 9.7.12)
The Journal had considerable swagger in the ’90s, with the kind of deep staffing suited to a state rich with colorful, sometimes eye-popping source material.
However, the new corporate owners (the ProJo was purchased in 1997 by the Belo Corporation) had motivations other than journalistic excellence, and declining circulation and ad revenues have further conspired to erode the bottom line. So here we are now on the brink. But newspapers are not buggy whip factories to be briefly mourned as quaint relics of the past. We desperately need that “deep staffing” to keep an eye on things — the democracy depends on it.
(The Pew Research Center’s ‘Project for Excellence in Journalism’ provides perspective from around the country, “Building Digital Revenues Proves Painfully Slow.”)
filed under: Local Media |
BY Beth Comery
According to Channel 10 News a study from ClimateCentral.org indicates that Rhode Island’s climate is warming at a faster rate than any other state. (Coming in at number two is Massachusetts.) They looked at average daily temperatures for the continental 48 states from 1912 to the present, and also from 1970 to the present and found:
Since 1970, warming began accelerating everywhere. The speed of warming across the lower 48 more than tripled, from 0.127°F per decade over the 100-year period, to 0.435°F per decade since 1970, while the gap between the fast and slowly warming states narrowed significantly; the 10 fastest warming states heated up just twice as fast, not 60 times as fast as the 10 slowest warming states (0.60°F vs. 0.30°F per decade).
I am not familiar with this organization but their methodology seems comprehensive, and we can leave it to other scientists to review their findings. What I would like to address is the banter between anchorman Gene Valicenti and weatherman Mark Searles that followed the taped segment during which Valicenti rambled on about how the debate continues . . . some say there is global warming and some say there isn’t. No, Mr. Valicenti, the debate is over. There is no longer any serious question among legitimate scientists about the reality of climate change. Go to NOAA and read all about how New York City is preparing for the inevitable; or read the article in the New York Times about the U.S. Navy grappling with the changing configuration of the Arctic. And even that last holdout Richard Muller at UC Berkeley — the skeptic who always got trotted out for the cameras by the opposition — finally had to change his mind and agree that “Global warming is real.” (Washington Post 10.24.11)
Perpetuating this “debate” fallacy isn’t neutral journalism, it’s bad journalism.
BY Beth Comery
Consider this an open letter to the Providence Journal.
The people of Rhode Island need your newspaper. A lot is at stake here. Imagine what would go on in this state, and in the cities and towns, if the paper were to fold. With all due respect to the great investigative reporting done at the local television stations, the Providence Journal has always been relied upon to take on the long-ranging, in-depth investigations that have ferreted out the entrenched corruption and criminal enterprises that continually plague our state, cities and towns.
We know that with subscriptions dwindling, newspapers have to make money from their online content, but why not just adopt the New York Times paywall model, which charges when a reader crosses a certain threshold of article views? Felix Salmon has written an illuminating piece on this subject for Reuters. Turns out that a somewhat porous paywall system is working just fine for the Times and several other papers as well. (“How the NYT paywall is working” 8.12.11. I also found another recent Reuters piece very helpful in understanding this issue — “The year of the newspaper paywall” by Clay Shirky, 1.6.12.)
But the current online ProJo set-up, a bifurcated mishmash of mini-reports and hidden content, is confusing and frustrating. Nobody can find anything or link to anything. Just yesterday I sent a link to friends of a video-feature taped on Monday night and posted hours later — and it was wonderful — but the video was swapped out in under 12 hours and has evaporated completely. No archive, nothing. So the link didn’t even connect to the video, it connected to the video space. This just isn’t how people would ever use this.
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