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In the midst of a slump in advertising, corporate media company Gannett has announced a total of 700 layoffs. 18 of those people losing their jobs are from the Springfield News-Leader. KSMU’s Samuel Crowe has the story.
The Springfield News-Leader announced Tuesday that 18 jobs have been cut from its workforce. According to the News-Leader, Sports Editor Pam Clark and local news editor Everett Kennell were among those affected by a nationwide lay-off from Gannett, the News-Leader’s parent company. When asked to comment of the layoffs, the News-Leader referred us to Gannett. A spokeswoman for Gannett did not return our calls by deadline.
Dr. Andy Cline is a professor of media ethics and journalism at Missouri State University. He believes Gannett’s decision was purely profit-driven, for the sake of sacrificing news content and potential readership.
“Good journalism is very costly. And if you’re trying to return a high profit margin for your shareholders, the thing you’re going to cut is the thing that’s most expensive. Well, when you keep cutting the very thing that makes a newspaper worth it, the journalism positions, then you no longer have a product to sell,” he said.
Cline said the best solution is for the News-Leader to forget about corporate ownership and focus on self-sustainability.
“The best thing I think in the long run that could happen for the News-Leader and for all the newspapers owned by Gannett is if Gannett would just fail. That would allow someone then to come in and buy the paper or the community somehow to take over the paper, to bring some other model to it that would help it sustain itself,” he said.
Cline refutes the notion that newspaper journalism is failing; he mentioned that smaller, family owned papers are thriving nationwide. He fears the News-Leader will continue in its downward spiral as long as it’s owned by Gannett. For KSMU News, I’m Samuel Crowe.