Whenever the Washington Post announced that they would shut down three U.S. bureaus, reassigning six correspondents to Washington and leaving three without a job, it came as no surprise to anybody who has seen what’s happened to newspapers over the last few years.
But the crazy thing about this? Two of the three journalists who were let go were multimedia and web reporters. Travis Fox and Pierre Kattar, both Emmy Award-winning video producers, were among those who will leave the Post at the end of the year.
That’s a tough thing to look at when you consider where the newspaper industry is headed. Obviously the multimedia and online journalism will fall on the old editors, those who have been there longer and head sections that appear in print, so it won’t disappear entirely. But it does make me wonder where the priorities are of some papers.
More than two years ago, there was a New York Times meeting between an ambitious print journalist, two graphic designers, the deputy managing editor and the CTO of Times Digital. The goal was to integrate the entire paper, from print to online, and eliminate barriers. Journalists and editors would work with online editors and multimedia produces to create the best possible journalism. And it worked. The Times took it upon itself to overhaul the way it was running a newspaper online and the result is one of, if not the best, online newspaper in the world.
A lot of papers missed out on opportunity to fix the current situation 10 years ago when the looked at the Internet as something too radical to embrace. And even more recently, more missed an opportunity to save what still remained.
In a world of online journalism, it’s a shame that some of the media jobs that are getting slashed are the online ones.