Journalism Implosion Watch

Only one of last week's Pulitzer winners had already been laid off. Here's this week's early winner for the cheap irony award ...
by | April 28, 2009
 

Only one of last week's Pulitzer winners had already been laid off. Here's this week's early winner for the cheap irony award in the great journalism layoff sweepstakes, courtesy of the Washington Post:

That Was Then

Fourteen months ago, reporter Todd Smith was covering a city council meeting in [Kirkwood] Missouri when a gunman charged in and started firing, killing five people. Smith was shot in the right hand.

"I definitely felt my life was in danger. I called my boss and said I wouldn't be able to write about it because I've been shot in the hand," says Smith, who required two operations to repair the damage.

Last week the Suburban Journals, a unit of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, laid him off along with other staffers. "I was shocked," says Smith, 37. "It was a lot to take a bullet for a newspaper." The paper did not return calls.

By the way, the latest newspaper circulation figures -- showing rapid and accelerating decline -- suggest that the industry's strategy of giving people less in the paper and hoping they'll pay 75 cents for a daily précis of what's on the Web site is not paying off.

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