Working from home has become the norm for five months now. Some journalists were previously accustomed to coming to the office loving this new rhythm. Others greatly miss the office and cannot wait to return. Some soon will have no options in this regard.
Tribune (TPCO) The publisher decided to save money by abandoning newsroom spaces in New York, Allentown, Annapolis and Orlando. Other publishers have done the same, or are thinking about it. Television networks and other types of media companies are also expected to narrow their footprint in anything new post-pandemic “normal”.
Flexibility and cost savings will be achieved, but a few things will be lost. Invisible like his friends in the newsroom and a sense of the place.
7;s Tribune announcement was a “gut punch,” Stephanie Sigafoos of Morning Call in eastern Pennsylvania told me.
It was “brutal,” added her colleague Jennifer Sheehan. “We’ve been a part of downtown Allentown for almost a century.”
“It was really hard working from home but we all did it to be safe, keep our families safe and do our jobs,” Sheehan said. “But that’s not what any of us want. A newsroom allows reporters to exchange ideas, share ideas and come up with a soundboard. Any of them work from home on your kitchen table. “
Bottom line, Sigafoos said: “It’s painful to think of being a newsroom without a newsroom.” When you “get people out of the newsroom, you take away part of the soul of the newspaper.”
>> Among the articles influenced by the Tribune’s decision: New York Daily News. Marc Tracy of the New York Times wrote: “A tabloid once famous for the bustle and bustle of a big city no longer has a newsroom.”
‘The press is not done in isolation’
Kerry Flynn wrote: “It’s no surprise that the Tribune cuts property costs. During the company’s earnings press conference last week, Chief Financial Officer Mike Lavey said ‘reduced their real estate footprint. I am ‘one of my priorities to’ sustain myself in the long term. ‘ Gannett CEO Mike Reed made a similar remarks in his earnings call last week, noting that the company plans to ‘sell assets between $ 100 million and $ 125 million by the end of 2021’. And McClatchy put the Lexington-Herald Leader up for sale that had an interested buyer earlier this summer. “
Flynn continued: “Newspapers like Herald-Leader have a lot of unused vacancies due to cuts, regionalization and other reasons. But these cost-cutting decisions are causing court staff. At Annapolis, the Capital Gazette correspondent Olivia Sanchez tweeted, “This announcement completely extinguishes the light at the tunnel end of the epidemic’s wisdom work. The press is not done in isolation, we are stronger when we come together and integrate into the communities we serve. We need a newsroom. ”
>> Flynn added: “In May, I wrote about the pandemic that pushed journalists out of DC and New York City and how distributed newsrooms could be good for journalism. But journalists still broadcast. On that story, Medium vice president of editor Siobhan O’Connor told me, “I like nothing more than sitting in a room with other advertisers giving out idea about the story. I get a lot of energy out of it, and we’re doing it on Zoom and on the phone. I honestly miss IRL’s friendship. ”