Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Dukes up 2

Feedback to the previous Dukes Up posting includes this comment from a TSF reader:

"While what Mr. Romeijn says is mostly true, there should be a clarification made by someone who has and is still working at a Sun Media community weekly.

"And that clarification is - the vast majority of weeklies are now staffed by relatively cheap editorial staff who are either fresh out of journalism school or someone that has decided to take life a bit slower toward the end of their career.

"There are still a few of us veterans out there that love their job, focus on the community and are likely 'lifers' at the weekly news gig.

"The problem comes when upper management mandates to paper what their ad rates should be - regardless of what the market will really bear - and sit back as revenue goes down the tubes, thereby limiting editorial space (like my paper is presently experiencing).

"That means local stories get chopped to small pieces so you can get a few photos in with the little bit of sports coverage and the other tidbits people like to see.

"Imagine what is occurring at the Sun's daily operations with layoffs and how devastating that has been to local coverage. Now imagine what it's like when what should be a three-person operation is slashed to a single person - that's problem number two at the weeklies.

"Combine those things and of course you'll see revenue plummet like the stock market has. In the effort to save money, Sun Media is killing the local newspaper because where there is competition for the ad dollar the local paper doesn't have a hope since they aren't able to respond to a competitor's challenge on ad rates.

"Mr. Romeijn, you are not the only one who wishes Sun Media would put up a fight. You can bet at least some of the employees at your competition would love to do it, but without the head office stamp, you'll soon be the only game in town - re: Jasper and Morinville."

1 comment:

  1. I would agree in theory, having started off as a reporter, but there is also some damn fine coverage and talent around .... reporters and editors who call these small towns their homes. Sun Media has taken away our ability to compete with independent papers, which is why Jasper went down. If they were given the opportunity to change their format and more staff, they would still be around and probably making money. But they, like all of us, were told to do more with far less.
    It makes one wonder what results are being hoped for.