UPDATE: The line “I’m sick of all the whining” was not referring to anyone at the Trib. I realize these people are losing their jobs, and I’m not trivializing that. I realize these people have mouths to feed and mortgages to pay. Being the oldest of four children, I understand how tight money is. I was referring to the overall sentiment that’s out there (be it in the blogosphere, J-schools, etc.) of people who want the news industry to find a solution, but don’t seem to want to use the Internet to fix it, which is just silly.
I wasn’t going to blog about this, but I guess since it’s already out there, I can talk about my reaction to the huge staffwide meeting at the News Center today.
Today, everyone in the newsroom gathered in a huge conference room where they told us they would lay off about 20 more people (11 tomorrow, effective immediately) and start reorganizing the newsroom based on the layout featured on Mindy McAdams’s blog.
Being an intern and standing in the back of the conference room while this meeting was going on, I was just blown away.
At first I was shocked at hearing about the layoffs… I thought to myself that in that room of 100 people or so, there were about 20 people who would have their jobs ripped from them. What would they do? Where would they go? I almost felt guilty being an intern; I have one of the safest jobs in the newsroom.
When I heard about the reorganization, I was hesitant at first, but I’ve had some time to think it over.
I want to say I admire the leaders at the Trib for taking control. As the newsroom to first spearhead the convergence movement, it only makes sense they would pioneer a new flow chart for reporting.
And frankly, I’m kind of sick of all the whining. A lot of journalists have been sitting around lamenting their losses instead of thinking up ways to fix their situation.
I understand that being innovative and adventurous is a scary and vulnerable move because no one really knows what the best way to deal with this, but what are the options? We can’t just let our industry crumble to pieces while we get booted from our jobs and move into cardboard boxes.
When I returned from the meeting, a few people made jokes about me changing my major. I don’t like these jokes, but typically, I casually laugh them off. Today I said, “Oh, it’s staying. I’m not dedicated to the medium so much as I’m dedicated to reporting news. I don’t care about the medium. I care about informing the people.”
That put an end to it.
The way I see it, nothing will change unless we force it to. Together as an industry, we need to grab fate by the horns and wrestle it into the direction we want it to take. We can’t be bullied out of our profession.
That’s what the Trib is doing. They know they don’t have all the kinks worked out and that they’ll make some mistakes, but the fact that they’re trying something this radical only shows us how determined they are to stay alive. And those are the people who will make it.
To be continued…