“Been away so long I hardly new the place…”

with apologies to Lennon and McCartney…

Things at the office are getting dicey. More attrition, which means the work that still must go on gets apportioned out among those who remain, which means a lot more work for yours truly. Still in all, I shouldn’t complain too much. At least I still have a job. But on the other hand, that kind of attitude leads to a sense of dependence and complacency: don’t rock the boat, keep your head down, or you’ll get sacked (fired for you Americans out there).

So here’s trying to catch up a little bit.

  • Michael Calderone at Politico.com writes about the new round of layoffs at Newsweek “[Editor Jon] Meacham, in a memo obtained by POLITICO, noted that the magazine has taken a different direction this year and, despite the layoffs, claimed that it “continues to appear promising in terms of building and retaining an engaged audience that we hope will be attractive to advertisers.” But what about attractive to readers? I’ve heard many complaints about the new look of the publication, the photos and even physical feel of the pages are unworthy of a magazine with such a long and proud tradition. Oh, sorry, forgot. No one really cares about the readers these days.
  • The number of homeless magazine continues to grow, too: Foliomag.com ran this story about “shelter” magazines, those publications that deal with lovely homes that look like they were set up in a Twilight Zone universe, i.e., no one lives there. Said genre appears to be growing. How many times have your passed by a furniture store and wondered how they can afford to stay open, since it doesn’t look like they have many customers, especially during the week? This comes at the same time as Hachette shuttering Metropolitan Homes.
  • A few entries ago, I noted the AP-free week that was about to take place. This piece from Mediaite (bad name, BTW. Sounds too much like mediaLITE, which has negative connotations) warns about such experiments, worried that they might become accepted practice among the large papers, already hurting for actual news content. “There’s no denying that the raw materials are out there,” writes Pat Kiernan. “But so are a million recipes for a Thanksgiving turkey. Or dozens of blogged opinions about the health care debate. And I still see the value in having an experienced editor do the sorting for me.” Hear hear. And check out the site; it’s kind of fun.
  • Do you think rival newspaper relish the poor fates of their competitors? Or is it a matter of sinking or swimming together? In this case, The New York Times reports on the New York Post‘s woes.
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  • A reluctant welcome

    It’s no secret what’s going on the field of print journalism. It’s going into the crapper. I wonder if Mr. Internet realized this would happen when he invented the World Wide Web. Regardless, the situation is here and we’re stuck with it. The purpose of this blog is to blow off a little steam, and I invite my fellow ink-stained wretches to join in with their own tales of woe or triumph. Maybe this will turn into a nice little support network. Questions? Suggestions? E-mail me at worriedjournalist(at) gmail(dot)com.
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