The Cincinnati Enquirer recently announced the layoffs of 101 employees. From the letter by President and Publisher Margaret Buchanan, the layoffs were necessary to remain profitable. With so many things that are wrong at the Enquirer, do they think that a reduction in staff is the solution?
In my opinion, lay offs are just a lazy uninventive solution. It keeps them from addressing the real problems and figuring out ways to increase revenue and their subscription base. The people responsible for making the decisions and creating innovative ways of maintaining a profit are the ones who should be laid off, not the everyday worker who does the day to day work of keeping the paper on newsstands.
According to City Beat, it was some of the editorial staff that was let go. I don’t think that the Enquirer should have laid off the editorial staff; I think they should instead replace them with more open minded people. If there is something positive that came out of this, it would be the layoff of Peter Bronson who is just a right wing hack and didn’t deserve real estate in the printed edition in the first place. I am never for anyone losing a job but in Bronson’s case, perhaps standing in the unemployment line will give him a little perspective on his political views.
Let’s face it – the world is changing and with all of the outlets for news and information, printed publications who don’t keep up with the needs and trends will fail. The Cincinnati Enquirer is slow to realize this and instead of hiring true journalists who will take some effort and dig into a story and get the facts, they are instead cutting down on the number of pages and stories in the printed edition yet charging the same. Look at some of the newspapers with real journalists and you will find that they are faring a lot better.
Television is still a great source for news, but not the best. More and more people are turning to blogs to get their news because you can always find something out there that will give you the information that you need as well as cater to your specific viewpoints.
If the Enquirer is considering a subscription based service for their online content, they have a long way to go. The site is very slow and cumbersome with pop-up and drop-down ads. The appearance is of a low rate blog with little effort put into the writing, no follow-up to news stories, and the lack of spellchecking. The comments section has become a breeding ground for hate with racial comments scattered throughout each story. The comments section gives Cincinnati a black eye and I’m sure anyone outside of the city would think that this is our mindset. I don’t think that the comments are reflective of the citizens – it’s just that the comments aren’t moderated and the hate mongers have figured it out.
The reason that the Enquirer is sinking is because of poor management and the priorities set by management. Just a look at Ms. Buchanan’s letter will tell you that. In fact, she tells the public that advertisers come before the readers. With an attitude like that, no wonder they are struggling.