Tuesday, March 27, 2012

From frying pan to fire

Having left the daily newspaper which, personally and at the corporate level, came to the belief last summer that massive Facebooking and Twittering by everybody,  including copy editors who never are out and about  on news stories, was the "answer" to today's journalism revenue streams even as the company refuses to paywall websites, I may have gone from the frying pan to the fire.

(Oh, and now that I've left, I'll identify that previous newspaper as the Odessa American, part of Freedom Communications. And, despite being in the middle of the Permian Basin oilfield boom, the parent company, now owned primarily by its pre-Chapter 11 creditors, is continuing to tighten the editorial screws; I was replaced by a three-day-a-week person.)

Anyway, I'm now at a semiweekly, part of a group of newspapers owned by two "veterans," which is worse yet.

1. The owner allegedly published the exec editor to make him a minority owner, and it never happened. A recipe for bitterness right there, eh?
2. They're both "yellers."
3. They compete with another paper in the same area, which actually has more staff, and expect staff here to do more.
4. And, I've worked at many "community" newspapers that had "advertorial" special sections. I've never before worked at one that assigned stories about a particular advertiser before the sold ad was in the bag. I've worked at one now, though.

Well, if life has "learning experiences," there's plenty here.

And, at least Odessa was well organized as a newspaper. This place isn't. And, I may well be posting more about that soon.

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