Sunday, September 11, 2011

Other reasons this was a sad weekend

This has been a weekend of bad news.

First, my family's cat died, but this wasn't unexpected. She was extremely old. We got her when I was a sophomore in high school, 20-plus years ago. Ila lived a good, long life.

Then I found out that tonight was the last night for the copy and design desks of The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C., where I worked for eight years before I came to Denver. Some of those staffers have moved to the newsroom of the Charlotte Observer, where the Raleigh paper will now be edited. Some of those staffers are filling out unemployment paperwork.

This is the second time that one of my former copy desks has been swallowed up into the Charlotte newsroom. The first was The Herald in Rock Hill, S.C., my first job out of college. And I've only worked in three newsrooms total.

I wrote about The N&O's consolidation earlier this summer, and what I said then still stands. Newspapers are a faltering industry because people seem to think news is a product they don't have to pay for. Thanks to the Internet, it is ... to some extent. But those of us who produce the copy still need to get paid, and that money needs to come from somewhere. When subscriptions drop, so does advertising, and that's when people lose their jobs. And then ... no more news. Free or otherwise.

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