“Why Not Occupy Newsrooms”

25Oct11

"Graphic artist Sonia Gottfried says good-bye to colleague Tammy Graves before leaving the Ann Arbor News on Thursday, when the 45,000-circulation daily rolled off the presses for the last time. / LEISA THOMPSON/Ann Arbor News" (

All of the readings concerning journalism make some reference to how the changing culture has led to some financial difficulties in newsrooms and news outlets as previously used model do not work in this rapid technological advancement era we are in around the globe. Those who manage the journalism occupation are met with challenges of how to deal with these changes. Unfortunately, some of the managers of these news outlets are acting in the same way Wall Street managers have been acting, conducting themselves and their businesses the very ways protestors are rallying against in the case of Wall Street. Relying on news sources for data, David Carr of the New York Times gives commentary on the state of journalism management indicating that the heads of several journalism outlets that are going under are making out with 10s of millions of dollars while they lay off journalists who have been reporting for years. Carr writes, “If you were looking for bonus excess despite miserable operations, the best recent example I can think of is Gannett, which owns USA Today” and 81 other companies (Carr 2011). Gannett’s chief executive Craig Dubow ran the Gannett right into the ground in the six short years he held the position. According to Carr, “Gannett’s stock price declined to about $10 a share from a high of $75 the day after he took over,” and during his leadership about 20,000 employees were laid off (Carr 2011). Despite all of this, Mr. Dubow recently made out in retirement with “just under $37.1 million in retirement, health and disability benefits. That comes on top of a combined $16 million in salary and bonuses in the last two years” (Carr 2011). His successor has already made millions in bonuses. A similar situation is occurring in several other corporation that run journalism operations including The Tribune Company, which owns The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Baltimore Sun, and others.

Imagine the culture in the newsroom under these types of leaders. Imagine the rush to make as much money as possible now to feed the pockets of these officers before bankruptcies are complete.

Perhaps it’s time to “Occupy Newsrooms” in order to preserve the occupation of journalism that this country has come to so cherish! ~~Sade Oshinubi

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