Tucsonans have grown accustomed to the nearly daily news reports of layoffs. They are saddened but not surprised any more by layoff announcements. They are less surprised, but still saddened by the Arizona Daily Star’s announced layoffs today.
The Star has lost popularity, number of pages, and page size over the past few years. These losses are due in part to the growing popularity of online local news sources. However the Star’s losses are most likely attributed to the paper’s commitment to ignore unpleasant news stories about their friends or preferred causes, their inability to separate news from opinion, and an unwillingness to present more than one side of a story. Dinner party invitations are too often a driving force for news coverage.
News makers who have not won the favor of Star staff, can count on the fact that their accomplishments will not be covered at all, and anything they do that can be portrayed as a failure will become front page items and run over several days in both print and online. The Star’s readers can often find complete information by reading the Star’s articles and the accompanying online comment section filled with posts by government employees and insiders.
According to a report in the Tucson Weekly, “The Star laid off about 20 people Thursday morning, in the process gutting its marketing department and taking a major swath to the news department.” According to the Star it “reduced its workforce by 52 people Thursday. The cuts came from throughout the operation and were not limited to the newsroom.” According to various sources, the people most responsible for the layoffs will keep their jobs.
Tucson Citizen editor Mark Evans wrote his bloggers today and reported that, “TucsonCitizen.com is fine and there are no layoffs here – TC.com will continue as we have the past two and a half years trying to provide a voice to those in Tucson who want a vehicle to provide news and perspective on issues that matter in our community.”