Friday, June 20, 2008

Change happens (South Florida newspapers version)

I've been following the coverage of the announced layoffs at the Miami Herald, of course, and am struck by a few things:

The first online version of the story, which I read right away, didn't include this part:
(those leaving)...include 12 newsroom supervisors, five in the International Edition, two copy editors, three reporters, four designers and layout specialists, two on the state desk, two critics, two photographers and six in archiving and calendar.
Archiving, calendar and the
International Edition will be outsourced to workers in India.
I'm not sure, but this may be a first. I haven't heard of another paper outsourcing library functions (the calendar staff was in the library, too).

More on the Herald, of course, at Herald Watch. More at Daily Pulp. And there's good stuff at Random Pixels, where names are named here and here.

I'm quite sad to hear about Phil Long, 40-year Herald employee who was my phone buddy for years when he was out on a story somewhere across Florida and calling in for background checks on people he was going to write about, or needing to find information on Iraq casualties from Florida. I miss him anyway, so sorry to hear he's leaving a job he loved so much. Phil, have a happy retirement!

A few days ago several South Florida bloggers posted pictures of a makeshift Santeria shrine in the Herald newsroom, where staffers were leaving offerings to a stuffed rooster to try to save their jobs. I didn't bother to link to any of them, but noticed in one of the photos that it was right in front of my old desk! I sat in front of the bookshelves in the background. They were full of reference books then, and the legendary Arnie Markowitz sat in the (now empty) desk in front of me. Another reporter sat there after Arnie took an (early) buyout, but she's gone too (hopefully still in Neighbors).

With the Herald decimating its library, many news librarians/researchers are mourning the future of news libraries. I hear the mood was grim at the annual SLA conference, where News Division members had what sounds to be a great program. (I'm glad to see a couple attendees blogged the conference.)
I was intrigued by the posting by Derek Willis, a sometime news researcher/data guru, who has some thoughts about The Future of News Libraries.

On a positive note, here's news of a news researcher finding a new way to enhance the online newspaper, at the South Florida Sun- Sentinel, where it's highlighted on the front page today: Flori-DUH (We've all been in the sun too long), a blog conceived and reported by Barbara Hijek with contributions by reporter Liz Doup. On Barbara:
BARBARA HIJEK, a Sun-Sentinel librarian, has spent years doing news research in Florida, the most news-warpy place in the universe. She's still passed all her drug tests and remains Prozac free.
Congrats to Barbara, a long time friend. We always said if there's weird news anywhere, it has a Florida connection. (Thanks Gail.)

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home