Local economies losing jobs, but no reporters to cover it
Abe Streep of the New York Times writes about the massive job loss in communities around the country with no reporters to cover the story.
Streep writes, “In late April, Jim Richerson, the chief executive officer of the Sangre de Cristo Arts and Conference Center in Pueblo, Colo., emailed Blake Fontenay, the editorial-pages editor at the town’s newspaper, The Pueblo Chieftain. Richerson and Fontenay occasionally discussed happenings at the Arts Center, which had temporarily closed and laid off most of its staff because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Richerson hoped Fontenay, a 54-year-old newspaper veteran from Tennessee, might be interested in a story about the center’s virtual dance classes.
“Since the paper — the oldest daily in the state — had laid off its business editor the previous spring, Fontenay had written a local business column. His editorial voice was often optimistic, counseling positivity during a recent spate of layoffs in town. But when Fontenay replied, he said he could not produce the story; he had been laid off himself.
“His last Chieftain column, titled ‘’A Journalist’s Final Whistle?’’ invoked his father and grandfather, both of whom had been journalists, and reminisced about the paper he started himself in elementary school. ‘I guess I could be bitter,’ he wrote, ‘but that’s just the way life is in the newspaper business these days.’”
Read more here.