Photojournalist Rob Hart was among the 28 staffers laid off when the Chicago Sun-Times decided to get rid of its entire photography department last week. To busy himself, Hart has started a Tumblr, "Laid off from the Sun-Times," that offers a glimpse into what life is like as a freshly unemployed photojournalist.
New bosses often mean change. We here at Gawker would not know this, because all our managers die in their chairs, but we have heard from industry professionals that when there's a transition of a power at a company, the change often augurs new protocols, shifting job descriptions, the ominous possibility of layoffs, and, say, far worse, the loss of telecommuting. The immediate aftermath can be nerve-wracking—especially when the position at stake is CEO.
The New York Times, like the rest of the newspaper industry, went through a painful series of buyouts after the 2008 financial collapse exacerbated the already ongoing collapse of the newspaper industry. In 2009, they cut 100 positions. In 2011, they had 20 more buyouts. This morning, they announced they want 30 more.
The University of Phoenix is shutting down 115 of its bloodsucking fake college locations in the U.S., about half of the total number of centers of flimflammery. This may be seen as part of the larger trend of the decline of so-called "for profit colleges," which is a good thing, in the sense that these schools are best not at education, but at sucking money out of desperate people who can scarcely afford it.
The Daily, News Corp's big fancy well-funded "iPad newspaper" project, was never really a good idea from day one. A once-daily, hugely expensive, geographically nonspecific newspaper that is not available on the internet: just not a great business plan. Now, a year and a half after the launch, the reality appears to be crashing down.
This week, the New Orleans Times-Picayune announced that it is cutting its print publication schedule back to three days a week and laying off staff in an effort to remain financially viable. It's a sad step for a storied and respected newspaper. It is also, on an industrywide scale, a completely expected evolution. Let's briefly review the recent past, and the future, of newspapers.