Sorry if I don’t weep at what looks like another slow bleed for another pillar of the Mainstream Media.
We said goodbye to more than 70 Inquirer journalists today. This time we were spared the speeches from the departing about how everything will be all right.
Those who left got a buffet, heart-felt hugs and bracing applause. We sent them off with framed copies of the newspapers from the day they were hired – black and white sheets with names like Rizzo and Longstreth on them. All now gone.
Publisher Joe Natoli and editor Amanda Bennett said how they’d hoped this day would never come, a day when 15 percent of the newsroom was paid to walk away early.
“Don’t let corporate raiders liquidate the fourth estate,” John McManus headlined his letter. The only force that can stand up to Wall Street is that of Main Street, McManus wrote. The communities should threaten a boycott if new management or ownership sheds jobs or lowers pay to meet investors’ demands, he suggested. Higher returns would inevitably come at the expense of investigative reporting and independence from advertisers.
Boo hoo. Perhaps if they didn’t editorialize with every “news item” they write, their circulation wouldn’t be plummetting.