Killing Journalism

In today’s installment of “stuff that happened while we were busy kicking Republican ass,” we learn that if you stand up for your reporters, you get shitcanned.

Dean Baquet was forced out as editor of the Los Angeles Times after he refused renewed demands from Tribune Co. to lay off more journalists, aggravating tension between the media company and its biggest newspaper.

Mr. Baquet is exiting a month after Tribune ousted the newspaper’s publisher, Jeffrey M. Johnson, and replaced him with David D. Hiller, then the publisher of the company’s flagship Chicago Tribune. Weeks earlier, both Mr. Baquet and Mr. Johnson had publicly resisted pressure from Tribune management to make a new round of job cuts.

But no, it’s blogs that are destroying newspapers.


4 thoughts on “Killing Journalism

  1. Did you hear that piece on NPR earlier this week, about how newspapers revenue are down, but investors are seeing opportunities? They talked about two kinds of investors – ones who would buy newspapers not expecting to make a bunch of money but to preserve something (don’t remember who it was they were talking to, but it was over the Baltimore Sun, and the guy was extremely disappointed that much of the local coverage was being cut) and investment groups who would try to maximize profits, seeing the falling stock prices as a good time to buy.
    Part of what I found interesting, besides the whole “don’t have to make much money, let’s restore it to what it was” thing was the attitude on the part of some of them that although print readership might be down, the online versions were getting lots of attention, and it was simply recognizing where the readers really were, and working with that.
    RE: the firing – it’s really all part of a whole. Reporters might actually report facts, and that can’t be good. We need to stick with simply reporting he said/he said, no matter how ludicrous and unfactual one side might be. Actual reporting? That’s too hard. And it costs money. Schmucks.

  2. I missed that. I’ll have to look it up. Part of the problem isn’t that newspapers aren’t making money, it’s that they’re not making the insane profit margins demanded by shareholders used to cereal and soap companies. The non-profit paper I worked at would have committed murder for 25 percent profits – we could have put all that money back into making the paper better. You see this now with the St. Pete Times in Florida, which is owned by the Poynter Institute, where they’re like, “20 percent, good enough for us, let’s reinvest in our coverage!”
    Newspapers are profitable if you count “profit” as “anything better than breaking even.” Most investors want more than that, which is the whole problem with investors in the first place. 🙂

  3. The rightwing Chicago Tribune bought their Liesangeles Times in 2000, for $5.6 billion, mostly stock.
    Now it’s on the block for $2 billion. Great stockholder value return, eh?
    The Liesangeles Times is DESPICABLE. We won’t buy it, we lifelong subscribers to the former — far from perfect — Los Angeles Times. The reason is clear, and has been outed by righwing CEO emails: they are doing a job on us, and we’ve got enough problems without help from Chicago (bad enough we have to endure an Austrian would-be neo-Nazi).
    Vicious, bigoted, hatemongering political cartoons; lies on the front page. Refusal to cover LA’s HUNDREDS of antiwar protests. Firing Robert Scheer; losing Jim Carroll (multiple Pulitzer award winning editor who quit in 2001 during massive layoffs). They have even stopped delivering the TV Times on Sundays (you have to buy the Saturday paper, and –request– a copy of that traditional pamphlet). All corporate news, all the time — very little coverage of alternative Los Angeles. Very little coverage of IMMIGRANT’S RIGHTS ISSUES in the most integrated city in the world.
    Down with the Liesangeles Times.
    A thousand hells for rightwingers.
    — Paul in LA

  4. Could be an opportunity for some liberal organization/business/investors to buy them some newspapers and start back to actual reporting!
    Might be easier than trying to get an existing organization to straighten out and fly right, er, correctly!

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