Sep 30, 2009

The business end of journalism

As newsrooms shrink to keep pace with shrinking profits, the business side of journalism has become increasingly dominant over the editorial side. Which probably explains the itchy trigger finger firing of Brian Nutting at Congressional Quarterly.

After he wrote an email that demanded the company explain why 44 newsroom staffers were laid off after the company merged with Roll Call, Nutting was told he could either resign or be fired. He was fired.

From the Washington Post:
Nutting said he wrote the e-mail in some haste, after walking out of a mandatory meeting called to discuss the layoff announcement. He said he did not expect his missive to go beyond his newsroom ("I'm a Luddite; I never thought about it"). But he took some issue with the notion that he was insubordinate: "I don't know what the definition of insubordination is," he said. "I guess it's whatever the employer says it is. I just asked some inconvenient questions."

At the moment, he said, has no job prospects and doubts he'll be able to continue in journalism, given the economy, his age and the declining state of the news business.

Nutting said he volunteered to be laid off last week if it meant sparing the jobs of two of his reporters, who had been laid off from other jobs. Both of the reporters were let go anyway, Nutting said.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good for Nutting. They're probably laying off staffers so executives can get bonuses, raises, perks, company-funded trips to Tahiti -- anything to keep those extremely important executives on board.