Sunday, December 7, 2008

Read about a top editor with a conscience; Tennessean layoffs still stirring deep sense of shock, need for us to gather to console those hurt

Alan English of the Shreveport Times wrote an amazingly compassionate piece for a top Gannett newspaper editor about layoffs gripping the nation, including his own newspaper.

Jim Hopkins' Gannett blog, which has become the toast of the journalism nation, cited the column with this address for you to read:

Now English did not get specific about his newspaper's cuts. He's not stupid. He doesn't want to lose his own job. But you still have to give him some credit. Most columns from newspaper editors are designed to cover up the obvious. But readers are not that stupid.

There are some good leaders at Gannett newspapers across the country. I've cited Craig Moon, who used to be publisher at The Tennessean before rising to USA Today. I won't cite the others because I don't want them to get in trouble for me praising them.

But these layoffs, including the 22 in The Tennessean newsroom just a few weeks before Christmas, have really hit a nerve. I have heard from so many colleagues, former ones since I lost my job more than a year ago.

Still, there is a sense of shock and outrage.

Some of us are talking about a gathering to console and toast those who were laid off. Maybe we'll also pass around the hat. It will be like a wake. Because any hope of good and lasting journalism coming out of The Tennessean died last week.

No comments: