Oct 14, 2010

MediaNews Group to hire

LA Observed got the memo that MediaNews Group plans to hire two state reporters, one covering the Capitol and the other covering Silicon Valley. This is good news for all papers in the chain - and an opportunity for reporters toiling at regional political beats to finally have a chance at climbing the ladder and putting their experience to good use. These are positions I wish existed when I worked for the chain (MediaNews would probably set my resume on fire at this point).


Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure these positions DID exist when you worked for the chain. I believe the MNG previously had Sacramento and DC reporters.

Only, the positions don't really work for the chain.

The reporters end up becoming bound to the paper from which they are based, and their coverage rarely works beyond that.

For example, for the San Bernardino Sun to get a state budget story that's any different than what they could get off the wire, they will want their local politicians quoted.

But the reporter will likely be writing for the San Jose audience.

It's probably great for San Jose, which now has a statehouse reporter (and perhaps convinced other papers to share in the cost of the salary) and for the reporter who gets the gig. But if I worked at the LADN or Pasadena Star-News, I wouldn't exactly be celebrating.

It's nothing malicious. It's just the nature of the job and the organization.

Gary Scott said...

I agree that the position can become almost useless to local papers, though that's a management problem, not a position problem.

And having a position open like that does offer enterprising political/business reporters a reason to push harder and do better work.

As for my time, when I started there were two statehouse reporters, one serving San Jose and the other L.A. Eventually, the MNG Sacto bureau folded. If there was a Silicon Valley reporter who wrote for the chain, I didn't know about it.

Anonymous said...

I'm unclear how covering Silicon Valley is a "state" beat. It's true the tech industry does not stay within San Jose's border's, but if they're based there, they're based there. It's kind of like saying the "Hollywood" reporter is covering it for the whole state.

Anonymous said...

it's really disingenuous to suggest this is anything other than a reopening of two of the dozens if not more than 100 reporting positions lost at MNG papers in California since 2006, when the company bought the Merc and others. There might not have been "a Silicon Valley reporter who wrote for the chain" prior to that as you suggest, but we all know the Merc was swarming the tech beat for years before the purchase. MNG decimated that paper (and destroyed its ahead-of-the-curve website, turning it into the same incomprehensible clusterfuck as the rest of its chain's papers' websites) and while I suppose I can feel good that they are now "creating" two positions that currently starving LANG and BANG reporters could aspire to, let's get the right context here. I don't know why I'm so upset, but damn.