Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Recently, I was at a speech, in which former LA Times Editor Dean Baquet spent some time lambasting the Tribune Company. I got some looks from my friends that seemed to say "remember when you were in love with your Tribune Company paper internship?" I do remember. It was an amazing summer. And the summer that Sam Zell bought the Tribune Company. Since then, there have been huge layoffs company-wide, page counts reduced, redesigns that put less news on the front page and (in the case of the Chicago Tribune, at least) a move toward tabloid for one of America's once glorious newspapers.

I honestly don't know who is to blame, and (in case there are any employers reading this, but it's true even for non-employers) if that Tribune Co. paper that I worked for (or several of the other ones for that matter) decided they wanted to hire me, I'd go back in a heartbeat.

But, this story about the Hartford Courant made me want to cry.

I don't know how high up the chain this decision was made. But, at least give journalists some respect. It's the least they deserve.

Baquet, now the Washington bureau chief of the New York Times urged his audience not to listen to the doom and gloom, and not to read Romenesko. But it's pretty darn hard in this day and age to keep on smiling and say "evolution" through gritted teeth.

I believe the evolution will come. I believe I will be part of it. Just don't leave journalists' dignity in the wake of change.

Maybe we should just hug journalists instead.

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Written Pyramids is a blog written by a journalist living and working in Washington D.C.

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