Monday, February 25, 2008

We are not “whining”, Mr. Singleton

Quoted from a general session of the NAA Connections Conference and shared by this blogger were three newspaper execs talking about change, including this from MN's Dean Singleton:

“If you read Romenesko every day and you hear our people in newsrooms whine — they whine and whine and whine wishing for the old days to come back. Damn it, I wish the old days would come back, too, but wishing for it isn’t going to make it happen. You must be focused on the future.”

“When we had to make cuts at one of our larger papers somebody in one of our unions put out a letter that said, ‘Well, we won’t be able to put out the same newspaper we have over the past 30 years.’ I said, ‘Precisely. Our readers don’t want the same newspaper we’ve been putting out over the past 30 years.’”
Perhaps not, but according to the comments and complaints we hear from readers (and we know the company gets them too), it is the public that wants the newspaper to produce the kind of journalism they've depended upon (for 30 years?) — in-depth, substantive and truthful.

We aren't whining, Mr. Singleton. We're worried about our own futures and the future of the papers for which we work so hard. Outsourcing or eliminating us — particularly those of us with strong and trusted connections to the community our newspaper is supposed to serve — can't be the company's answer to its declining double-digit profit margins if indeed it really cares about the survival of its newspapers.

When the local press no longer speaks with the city's voice, it no longer sounds authentic. The readers notice. If they stop buying the paper, the advertisers go elsewhere and we're in the race to the bottom.

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