Sunday, March 15, 2009

the guy who killed newspapers

Go here for a comprehensive and insightful look at the demise of American journalism via a long piece in Canada's Globe and Mail, which gets it right.

The story is pegged to the near-death of the SF Chron and includes an interview with Phil Bronstein, who sees himself -- almost facetiously -- as the guy who killed newspapers.

BTW, the Chron reports that its guild agreed last night to concessions in a new contract that "clear the way for cutting at least 150 union jobs and eliminating certain benefits and rights, measures the company says are essential to save the newspaper." Most of those cuts would come from editorial.

Sad, actually. The new contract, which may save the paper, was approved by a 10 - 1 majority. Though the concessions may save the paper, a year ago, agreeing to those same provisions would have been unheard of. From the Chron's story:

Carl Hall, lead negotiator for the Guild, said the outcome demonstrates a "clear-eyed attitude" among members hoping to protect workers and their families from a worse fate.

"This is the start of the real battle," he said in a statement. "We have to find a solution, a real solution, to save what we really care about here - quality journalism and quality jobs."

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