The news hit late Wednesday night that the storied New Orleans Times-Picayune, the newspaper that served as a community rock in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, will be cutting its print run to three times a week and slicing its staff by up to a third.
“We did not make this decision lightly,” the new company president, Ricky Mathews, said in corporate-speak of the layoffs in the Times-Picayune’s own announcement. “It’s the toughest part of transitioning from a print-centric to a digitally-focused company.” Most of the paper’s own staff found out initially about the restructuring by reading Wednesday night’s New York Times story, New Orleans’s alt-weekly reported.
Depriving a region of a vital public resource—one that, according to Romenesko, remains profitable—seems a shortsighted decision by parent company Newhouse.
To get a sense of the paper’s ongoing importance (as hurricane recovery continues seven years later), here are some links to past CJR coverage:
Here is a snapshot of the Times-Picayune in 2010, five years after Katrina
Here is a three-part series on how the paper continued to get reported coverage to its readers in the midst of utter chaos
Here is a profile of TP columnist Chris Rose, who became the voice of New Orleans’s struggles