How’s this for a grim coincidence: on the day that Michael Schudson and Len Downie Jr. lay out their vision for putting American journalism on firmer financial footing, The New York Times announces that it will cut 100 newsroom jobs.
Gawker, of course, has executive editor Bill Keller’s memo to the newsroom. Here’s a taste:
I won’t pretend that these staff cuts will not add to the burdens of journalists whose responsibilities have grown faster than their compensation. But we’ve been looking hard at ways to minimize the impact — in part, by re-engineering some of our copy flow. I won’t promise this will be easy or painless, but I believe we can weather these cuts without seriously compromising our commitment to coverage of the region, the country and the world. We will remain the single best news organization on earth.
I doubt that anyone is shocked by the fact of this, but it is happening sooner than anyone anticipated. When we took our 5 percent pay cuts, it was in the hope that this would fend off the need for more staff cuts this year. But I accept that if it’s going to happen, it should be done quickly. We will get through this and move on.