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Comment Archives: stories: News: City Limits

Re: “The Tennessean's 'newsroom of the future' means cuts, turmoil and rock-bottom morale at present

People who are saying this is all okay because nobody reads newspapers anymore have not a clue of what they are saying. This is not about paper. It's about reporters, copy editors, designers and all of the many people needed to find and deliver solid news and yes, even features. That's what is being lost here in favor of frivolous let's-give-people-something-they-won't-get-upset-over stories about "retail" and music and food and celebrities. Yes the Tennessean has been on that path for a long time. Did you ever think that the dumbing down of the paper is the reason that it is losing readers?

19 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Nancy Henderson on 08/16/2014 at 11:57 AM

Re: “The Tennessean's 'newsroom of the future' means cuts, turmoil and rock-bottom morale at present

Gannett has posted a plethora of job openings at the Tennessean's 'newsroom of the future," with such futuristic titles as 'crime reporter,' 'columnist' and 'country music reporter.'

Gee, sounds familiar, doesn't it?

That's not all. Here's the description for the 'crime reporter' position in the newsroom of the future:

"The Tennessean is seeking an aggressive reporter to cover breaking news and produce multimedia content about crime and issues related to crime in Metro Nashville, including Davidson and Williamson Counties and Mr. Juliet. This reporter will work collaboratively as a team with a second breaking news/crime reporter at The Tennessean. This reporter will be responsible for planning and executing daily multimedia stories/content about breaking news and crime, producing high-impact, enterprise journalism about issues related to crime, and engaging with readers through platforms such as social media, digital chats, events, and comments.

"Knowledge and skills required include exceptional core journalism skills (reporting, producing, editing); self-motivation and self-direction; photo and video skills; advanced knowledge of social media and how to engage fan base on digital platforms in the public space; ability to multi-task and excel under intense deadline pressure in a rapidly changing environment; and effective time management skills. A Bachelor's in Communications, Journalism or the equivalent in experience and education is required. An internship or previous experience in the job duties described above is preferred. "

Boy, that sounds familiar, too. Say, isn't that what Brian Haas is doing now (and very well, I might add) for the Tennessean? You know, Stefanie Murray, the one you're firing - along with everyone else in the newsroom?

13 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by The Truth Teller on 08/16/2014 at 11:55 AM

Re: “The Tennessean's 'newsroom of the future' means cuts, turmoil and rock-bottom morale at present

"There are many people out there that still enjoy the feel of a newspaper regardless of the fact that the news may be a day old." Sure of that? Because I'm not. I'm inclined to think that number would be shrinking almost daily. My guess is that Saturday/Sunday are really the days that people want a newspaper, and that's not for hard news.
By the way, Big Journalism, you did a lot of this to yourselves by breaking down the walls separating hard news from opinion from propaganda/press releases. I'm looking right at some of those editors crying about losing their jobs and even more of those owners crying about their profits. And I'm looking at many schools of journalism who started emphasizing combative and agenda-based "greater good" polemic over solid reportage. 24-hour TV news and the Internet just catalyzed people's rejection by becoming not only a quicker source of news, but also a place where opinions could easily be expressed by everyone - who in many cases weren't much less objective than the journalists themselves. (By the way, this is why certain newspaper chains in the '80s actually tried to get the judges who were breaking up AT&T into the Baby Bells to keep them from providing "online" - in those days, text-based portals via modem - news of any sort. I was there, boys and girls. But of course the paper and TV press would never try to suppress competition, right?)
If you're going to have a free press, somebody other than the government has to support it. And even then, it needs to be supported by its readers (i.e., purchased) or by diverse advertising revenue, or it simply becomes a house organ for whoever is paying for it. Guess what that means? News pretty much has to be as capitalistic an enterprise as any. Don't make money anymore? The options are simple: find new ways to make money, reduce costs, or close the doors. "Angel investors?" Don't seem to exist. Not in this business. And I don't think you'd ultimately want them anyway.
Out of curiosity, since the Scene is a local news outlet running this story, is it filling this gap for journalists and consumers with its paper edition and its newsroom?

3 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by RIPJournalism on 08/16/2014 at 9:35 AM

Re: “The Tennessean's 'newsroom of the future' means cuts, turmoil and rock-bottom morale at present

To ennkay: My apologies for getting that fact wrong. But, then again, I didn't have an editor or copy editor to double-check things.

I suppose we can expect to see even more fact errors, typos and examples of poor grammar as the "newsroom of the future" (steam)rolls over Nashville. And, much to my regret, the Tennessean will continue to lose those talented, passionate and dedicated people.

9 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by The Truth Teller on 08/16/2014 at 9:29 AM

Re: “The Tennessean's 'newsroom of the future' means cuts, turmoil and rock-bottom morale at present

A lot of people get news from the internet and have stopped buying newspapers. With less readers there will be less advertisers, which means newspapers have to cut costs as their revenue declines. That means losing staff. We can all complain about it, but that's the reality. If they do not do this the newspaper will close.

2 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Old Bundarra on 08/16/2014 at 6:51 AM

Re: “The Tennessean's 'newsroom of the future' means cuts, turmoil and rock-bottom morale at present

Fuck, fuck, fuck the Tennessean.

Fuck this notepad on my desk with the word "MORE" written across the top that we were all given this spring when the bosses rolled USA Today into the Tennessean. It's more all right: More frustration, more stupidity and more lies.

Fuck the sight of grown men & women crying at their desks out of fear & frustration over their futures because we're all collateral damage to the empire building of Laura Hollingsworth.

Fuck listening to Laura Hollingsworth's speeches which are a perfect symphony of ego, empty corporate jibber-jabber catchphrases, threats and sucking up to whomever is in the room that can help her get ahead.

Fuck being escorted from 1100 Broadway by security.

Fuck the three columnists - sports, Ms. Cheap and gag me with a wheelbarrow Peter Combover
Cooper - who don't have to reapply for their jobs because they're "special." You're special, all right.

Fuck Miriam Webster's dictionary for not putting a picture of Stefanie Murray next to the definition of the phrase "Soulless Corporate Toadie."

Fuck Stefanie Murray for not grasping the basics of good fucking grammar in her evil sorority girl e-mails and columns.

Fuck Detroit - because it's awful and she loves it.

Fuck the idea that I have to grovel to the bosses in the hopes I get my job back just so I can get a layoff in six months' time because this latest terrible idea is just as terrible as the last five terrible ideas.

Fuck the fact that there are seven unfilled positions in the Newsroom of the Future that will be posted for anyone anywhere to apply to fill -- yet actual Newsroom of the Present employees were only allowed to apply for two jobs total. Two. Total.

Fuck not being able to sleep at night because you love what you do but it doesn't matter anymore, especially not to the bosses.

Fuck the people who get those us filled newsroom jobs because fuck them.

Fuck being called a misogynist for making fun of the two evil women at the top of this scrap heap of awfulness. (I hate to break it to you ladies, but some of us are evil.)

Fuck the idea of journalism serving a greater good or how journalism should comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.

Fuck the whole "journalists as marketers" crap which pretty much tells you all you need to know about the future.

Fuck anyone who takes the Tennessean seriously after this is all over.

46 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Miss Gruntled on 08/16/2014 at 6:44 AM

Re: “The Tennessean's 'newsroom of the future' means cuts, turmoil and rock-bottom morale at present

Kudos to Steve Cavendish for writing a thoughtful, balanced and thoroughly reported piece. This story correctly points out all of the complexities involved in a sale of the Tennessean. Although a sale of the paper, at least in the short term, seems unlikely, it remains the only good option if Nashville still wants to have a community newspaper – as opposed to an obnoxious, irrelevant, digitized shopper of the future.

12 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Print Junkie on 08/15/2014 at 8:52 PM

Re: “The Metro Council's minority caucus comes out unanimously against Emily Evans' push to shrink the council

who is funding the campaign to reduce the council size? why is Evan's keeping that information secret?

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by who is paying on 08/15/2014 at 2:08 PM

Re: “The Tennessean's 'newsroom of the future' means cuts, turmoil and rock-bottom morale at present

Is a severance package even being offered right now as an option for Tennessean newsroom employees?

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by RebelDog on 08/15/2014 at 1:43 PM

Re: “The Tennessean's 'newsroom of the future' means cuts, turmoil and rock-bottom morale at present

technically i'd just stepped off the plane on my way *to* the funeral, which, as you can imagine, was super fun! there are really talented, passionate, dedicated people still in that newsroom, and i sure wish they weren't having to go through the emotional wringer so consistently.

also, to this guy ^ - with all due respect, folks there have been doing all that and more for a long time. nothing's long overdue. if you'd worked with any of those people, you'd surely have a very different perspective.

22 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by ennkay on 08/15/2014 at 1:10 PM

Re: “The Tennessean's 'newsroom of the future' means cuts, turmoil and rock-bottom morale at present

This is long overdue. If there are editors, reporters, photographers, copy desk staffers, who aren't writing quick stories, running out shooting photo galleries with their phones while writing pithy post on social media with a image they just shot building their brand and the brand of the organization --- THEY SHOULD BE GONE. To many people in newspaper newsrooms resisted this change and now it's coming down like a ton of bricks and no one should be surprised.

3 likes, 38 dislikes
Posted by Harold Goodridge on 08/15/2014 at 12:38 PM

Re: “The Tennessean's 'newsroom of the future' means cuts, turmoil and rock-bottom morale at present

In my earlier post, I was remiss in omitting courts reporter Bobby Allyn from the list of reporters who have left the Tennessean since last summer (he was among the Aug. 2013 layoffs). That makes eight in about a year ... which is probably about a third of the reporting staff, by my estimate.

7 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by The Truth Teller on 08/15/2014 at 8:00 AM

Re: “The Tennessean's 'newsroom of the future' means cuts, turmoil and rock-bottom morale at present

The Tennessean's demise began with Gannett's acquisition. The company has a one size fits all approach to newspapers, always has. This newsroom of the future is simply yet another spin devised to hide the chief reason: Reduce expenses and make as much money and feasibly possible. Michael noted that. And to produce the spin the company brought in an early 30s climber and so-called expert in consumer analytics, content programming and real time engagement. Talk about spin. Kudos to Murray for jumping on to this fad. Perhaps she can ride that a while until everyone figures out that the area of expertise is basically a crock of shit. When I first read her expertise, I thought she was a radio programmer.

18 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by FormerTennesseanWriter on 08/15/2014 at 12:21 AM

Re: “The Tennessean's 'newsroom of the future' means cuts, turmoil and rock-bottom morale at present

As a former employee at the Tennessean, I can say this downward spiral has been a long time in the making. It's no surprise that a daily/weekly print publication is going to have a hard time competing in this new "instant" world of Twitter, Facebook, etc. There are many people out there that still enjoy the feel of a newspaper regardless of the fact that the news may be a day old. The real failure is in the fact that the top brass at Gannett are patting themselves on the back with multi-million dollar bonuses (read Craig Dubow) instead of figuring out a way to make a newspaper viable in this new era. This same old drivel was heard when television was the brand new thing, and the newspaper manged to make it through. Only today, corporations are too concerned with short term profits in the double digit range to even try. They just play a corporate shell game by "spinning off" the newspaper division. Once this is done they won't care if it fails, it will essentially be off their books so to speak. All the corporate Kool-Aid sipping top level managers and publishers will keep blathering on with pep talk buzzwords like "reset", and "stronger" "more engaged" Blah-Blah-Blah! The only people they are fooling is themselves. All the employees at those meetings are biting their tongues wishing they had chosen another line of work. I saw the writing on the wall many years ago and left in 2009, and glad I did! The last straw for me as a member of the Information Technology team was when the brass came to us and said that due to the cutbacks and layoff's, we would have to help the pressmen clean, and work on the printing presses, this was okay they said because the presses were controlled by computers so it was in our realm and we could do it. My response after a gasp of disbelief at what I heard was "I don't $@#*ing think so!" The person who said this is now a top executive at Gannett corporate. Big surprise? I think not! My hat's off to the now retired Gannett Blog, and the Nashville Scene for being a thorn in The Tennessean executives, and Gannett's side. They deserve it! And my heart goes out to all the hard working people at The Tennessean who were not as fortunate as myself to find another employment option. They must suffer in silence for fear of losing what "job" they have left. I include them in my prayers every night.

33 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Michael A. Paladini on 08/14/2014 at 10:10 PM

Re: “The Tennessean's 'newsroom of the future' means cuts, turmoil and rock-bottom morale at present

When the parents of "baihehuao" and other spammers of his type had to choose between keeping the baby or keeping the afterbirth, they made the wrong choice.

6 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Pragmatist on 08/14/2014 at 10:03 PM

Re: “The Tennessean's 'newsroom of the future' means cuts, turmoil and rock-bottom morale at present

Yikes, I worked for a Wisconsin Gannett newspaper, and they started thrashing the budget to the point where three papers were sharing editors, photographers and now all the designers are gone. I am saddened at the state of newspapers. More so, I fear for the students who are currently getting their journalism degrees.

14 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Anthony Holloway on 08/14/2014 at 7:18 PM

Re: “The Metro Council's minority caucus comes out unanimously against Emily Evans' push to shrink the council

This is just an attempt by conservative Republicans to reduce the size so they can grab more power. They feel it's easier to get 14 for a majority than it is 21. You should see this effort for what it is and flush it down the toilet.

3 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Conservative Ploy on 08/14/2014 at 5:05 PM

Re: “The Tennessean's 'newsroom of the future' means cuts, turmoil and rock-bottom morale at present

I gave up on the Tennessean at least 6 years ago and haven't missed it a bit. the news you're looking for is out there if you seek it out. and if there's a talented writer with a good head and nose for news, who is able to craft pieces that add context, history and depth to current events, why on earth would they go to work for a Gannett-owned daily?

23 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Doyle on 08/14/2014 at 3:16 PM
Posted by SortofJustDid on 08/14/2014 at 2:12 PM

Re: “The Metro Council's minority caucus comes out unanimously against Emily Evans' push to shrink the council

School Board: 9 seats. 4 out of 5 are minorities, or 44%
Metro Council: 41 seats. 11 out of 41 are minorities, or 27%

Bigger does not mean more diverse. Shrinking does not mean less diverse.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by NumbersDon'tLie on 08/14/2014 at 2:11 PM

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