From a job posting:
“Reporting to Sun Media’s East Region Pagination Co-ordinator(s), these layout editors will design broadsheet and tabloid pages including news, entertainment and sports. Graphics work will also be required. Experience in the publishing industry an asset. This position involves working afternoons and evenings, as well as some weekends. The location will be in Brockville, Ontario. Applicants should be prepared to start their first shift in August 5, 2009.”
While this may appear to be a cost-savings to the corporation, the loss of these jobs in the communities served by the newspapers demonstrates a reduction in local news content. More and more content from outside the community is being provided (and in some cases, demanded) as content while the local reporter’s holes are shrinking.
Sadly, the trend is growing. What should be happening is the growth of local content. Resident of these communities need high quality content that is unique, not the same stuff that can be found everywhere else. If interest in local newspapers is dropping, it is due to the fluff and nonsense being printed. The lack of comprehensive, in-depth coverage of local issues takes newsroom resources, something Sun Media refuses to invest in. As Phil Meyer demonstrates in his book, The Vanishing Newspaper, he demonstrates how an increase in quality increases revenues. It is not a rhetorical argument, but a statistical fact. The question is: When are the MBA hot shots at head office going to get the message?