Friday, January 9, 2009

Stand with us

The continued dismantling of Long Beach's paper of record should concern every member of our community. We are witnessing the destruction of a civic institution that has served the people of Long Beach for over a century, and now the reporting of community events that are important to readers is in jeopardy.

The Press-Telegram's newsroom staff has been reduced from 101 in 2003 to 26 in 2008 and yesterday, the employer eliminated three more dedicated, talented employees, leaving just 10 reporters and 4 photographers to cover our city, a place that half a million people call home. Over the last two years, while in contract negotiations employees have worked without a raise, and under the constant threat of losing their jobs.

In these uncertain times, the experience and industry knowledge of our members is essential to P-T readers. We believe that quality need not be sacrificed on the altar of short-term profits, and that newspaper efficiencies can be achieved with locally-based experts rather than inexpensive and inexperienced stand-ins with little or no connection to our community and its citizens.

We need readers, advertisers, civic leaders, and city and community representatives to continue to stand with us and demand that the P-T provide quality local news that serves the needs of our city, and honor the commitment of its staff by settling its contract with its unionized workers that provides job security and decent wages.

~ Vicki Di Paolo
Vice President, Southern California Media Guild/CWA Local 9400


Anonymous said...

Anyone who remains at the Press-Telegram should cut bait now.

This fight was lost last February. No amount of community or political loudness will change that.

Save yourselves and take care of your families.

Anonymous said...

I hope that "Stand with us" doesn't just stay on the blog. It is a very well-written piece that needs to be seen by the public - the people we serve. So many customers are oblivious to what we're going through. All they see is a shrinking paper. The general public, for the most part does not read these blogs. Distribute it all around the city - coffee houses, laundromats, ane every other place people gather. Do it now.

Anonymous said...

Great idea we'll get right on it.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget that the Press-Telegram covers more than the 1/2 million people in Long Beach but also the communities in its circulation.

Which I might add are under reported already due to not having enough people to do those communities justice on a daily basis. Some reporters are covering 3 cities or more on a daily basis with general assignment reporting added to that list. Not to mention that they don't work 7 days a week.

Len Cutler said...

Don't forget that the Press-Telegram covers more than the 1/2 million people in Long Beach but also the communities in its circulation.

That's a very good point. Those outlying communities often lose more and suffer from diminished coverage faster than the Press-Telegram's "core" audience, as the need to prioritize and concentrate coverage forces editors to redirect their efforts closer to home.

News and events from many of these communities have virtually disappeared, which is a gross disservice to the loyal readers that depend on the Press-Telegram.

Anonymous said...

yes but the problem is the would rather please a banker than a reader