Death watch, continued…

It’s been a tough week for the newspaper industry. More staff cuts, salary cuts, furloughs, and announcements for more newspaper closings throughout the country have cast anew a shadow on those in the business.

According to the Paper Cuts blog, there are more than 6,600 positions eliminated since the first of the year. That a lot of journalists looking for work, and I’m sure there are many more who are still employed looking to get out as well.

But as we in the industry lick our wounds, we should also be thinking about those who are looking for work. Most have families and mortgages. All have financial commitments they must meet. But they are all our friends and colleagues.

I mention the Poynter Institute’s Jill Geisler’s “10 reasons to hire a journalist” essay last week. While that was directed more towards future employers, we can also offer a hand to help our friends find new work.

We are journalists. Part of our work involves meeting people outside our immediate sphere of influence. We talk to civic leaders. We talk to businessmen, We talk to people who have the power to hire. If we’ve done our job well, we’ve developed professional relationships with these people.

Use that network to help someone find a new job. Ask around for who’s hiring. Ask if they know anyone who’s hiring. If you find a link, refer an out-of-work colleague to them.

If every one of us who is still employed found one person a new job, that would easily bring down that 6,000+ figure. But most of all, it’ll reaffirm to those who left the business that journalism is just a career — it’s a brethren who continue to look out for each other.

*An interesting piece on how large, process driven companies can be taught to be innovative. The example cited in this essay is Proctor & Gamble, but does your news org fit the “process driven” mold? And is the culture ready for innovation?

I can hear your heads shaking from here.


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