Monday, June 22, 2009

How bad will Gannett papers become?

It was announced today that Gannett may be laying off another 4,500 newspaper workers in July, out of a total 41,000 nationwide. This comes on top of thousands of layoffs by Gannett in the past year, including several at our local papers, combined with eliminated vacancies.

How bad has it made the Daily News Journal, my local source of news? In recent months, almost unreadable. I had noticed a steady increase in typos, grammatical and style errors, design mistakes and the like since the layoffs began, but nothing as egregious as what I read in three days this weekend.

Friday's edition misspelled "linebacker" in headline as "inebacker." Sunday's edition misspelled "European" "Europen" in a headline, and proceded to repeat, word for word, the same story in two separate sections of the paper. I'm not even going to try to count all of the mistakes I found in the body copy. 

This is abhorrent. How Gannett can think it will possibly retain readers by cutting staff to the point that the paper becomes unreadable is beyond me. I fully expect Gannett to completely collapse within two years, if not sooner. If you work for them, I hope you have a fall-back plan.

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