Apr 21, 2010

Shhh, it's not relevant if it's happening to us

The privately held Newshouse newspapers have suffered a steady drip of downsizing through buyouts over the last couple years, but the chain has tried to keep the news out of its own pages. Most recently, a columnist at the Birmingham News decided to write about the 20 or so reporters who walked out the paper's door and the effect it has had on morale and quality, only to have the column spiked by the editor for being too "funereal."

Such an information lock down is a double blow to newsrooms, which pride themselves on holding every institution accountable, including their own. And almost inevitably, information about buyouts and layoffs eventually gets out through other sources.

In this case, the Birmingham News column escaped the surly bonds of the internal news system and was published on Facebook, as well as other places. And now the whole controversy is the subject of a column at Poynter.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

newspapers have lost their cajones. it shows in every aspect of their decision making. what happened to honesty and trust?