Mar 7, 2008

Did something happen yesterday?

Last week, Mark Lacter criticized the Long Beach Press-Telegram for its "lack of candor" in reporting about the layoffs that had occurred there and at its sister papers. He titled the post, "Glossing over a bloodbath."

"Talk about not fessing up to what this is really about: An implosion of the Socal Singleton papers," he said. He later added a post about some of the financial challenges facing Singleton's MediaNews Group.

Now we have this story about the cuts that were made at Singleton's five other SoCal newspapers, which comprise the newly dubbed Inland Division. It includes only one mention of layoffs, and it's buried under a layer of positive spin: The reorganization included the appointment of top division managers as well as the elimination of some positions at each property.

The rest of the story - which carries no byline - is mostly a rundown of the names and titles of those top division managers. There is no mention of the number of people who were eliminated, no details about the "really tough economy" that spurred the reorganization plan, no explanation of what it means to "maximize operational efficiencies."

A newspaper is supposed to report the news and cut through the jargon, not add to it. Otherwise, what's the point of maximizing those efficiencies?

The readers deserve better.


Anonymous said...

I can hardly put any blame on the Bulletin Staff for writing for putting a positive spin on this 're-structuring' mess.

Let's face it, that's the way it is everywhere in the corporate world. You just don't criticize your employer - no matter how much you disagree with it.

Anonymous said...

That mindset is what is leading newspapers to irrelevance and oblivion.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I'm "anonymous" #1 here again...Indeed, I agree with you. I wasn't justifying this practice in my first comment, just merely stating the facts as I have experienced them both in and out of the newspaper industry...