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All by itself, the Courier-Journal's most recent downsizing of 26 longtime employees through buyouts would be a major blow to our local newspaper's journalistic stature. But this was only the latest in a long string of layoffs, furloughs and other moves that have mortally wounded the C-J.
I understand the need to adapt to changing economic conditions. And the newspaper's management has every right to conduct business as they see fit or as they believe they must.
But the simplistic philosophy of "Survival through Slashing" seems to me a mark of desperation that will only hasten the paper's demise.
Yes, all newspaper companies are in dire straits. Increasing costs and decreasing readership and advertising are eroding their bottom line. And their hope is that an eventual transition to online delivery of their content will save the day.
But what content will be left by the time all this staff reduction is over? Any great journalistic outlet serves as the "institutional memory" of its community. So what happens when the newspaper itself no longer has an institutional memory?
It wasn't printing presses and barrels of ink that made the Courier great in its day. It was the people who made that ink say something important to their readers.
It's a shame that the economics of running a newspaper are robbing us of what once made the C-J great.