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Sunday, May 25, 2008

The cuts go on

It seems almost a daily occurrence and perhaps not noteworthy anymore, but here's a round-up of a few job cut announcements made by big news companies in recent days:

US journalism union threatens action over Reuters decision to increase its outsourcing of financial reporting to Bangalore, India.

At first, the Bangalore bureau reported on earnings of small and medium-sized companies that usually were not covered by Reuters' U.S. journalists. The new plans call for Bangalore workers to cover larger companies' earnings, press releases and filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and analysts' stock alerts. Reuters also has sent some U.K.-based non-editorial jobs to Bangalore.

Thomson Reuters is cutting 140 journalist jobs, mostly from Europe.
In an internal email to staff, the editor-in-chief of Reuters News, David Schlesinger, said having looked into areas of "natural overlap and duplication in coverage" between Thomson and Reuters the newly merged company had decided more than half of the cuts would be in Europe.

More than half the cuts will occur in Europe, the area of most duplication; the rest will be scattered. Thomson Financial News will be totally absorbed into Reuters News by end of 2008, and sooner if possible.

Schlesinger said cuts in the news department would be offset by "hiring into new projects". "I anticipate that over the coming months we will add some 50 new jobs in key areas that are central to my strategy of making us the best news service for the 21st century," he added.

Interestingly, the company is creating web video roles. Video is most definitely flavour of the month:

Thomson Reuters told staff last week that it would be creating new web video roles and offering its readers more commentary and analysis.

100 editorial staff at Washington Post accept early retirement package.

The Post will take the opportunity to restructure its newsroom in ways that may not be apparent to readers.

There is no plan right now to eliminate sections of the paper" or to reduce the frequency of their publication, Managing Editor Philip Bennett said yesterday. The buyouts will affect "chiefly how we organize our coverage -- more how we do things than what we do," he said. Bennett called the buyouts a "very, very difficult and painful process."

Steadily declining circulation and advertising revenue over the past two decades have led newspapers to reduce staff sizes through buyouts and layoffs, the latter of which The Post has avoided.

In 1999, for instance, the newspaper division of The Post Co. reported $157 million in operating income. By 2007, that number had fallen to $66 million. Daily average circulation of The Post peaked at 832,232 in 1993. It stands at 638,300."


Kelly said...

Hmmm not a good time to be entering the journalism profession prehaps?

Julie Starr said...

On the contrary. It's a great time to get into journalism.

Yes there are cuts, but these same newsrooms are also creating new jobs - including web video roles, web editors and more.

There are plenty of opportunities ahead for students who've mastered the fundamentals of journalism and are willing to try some new skills out - writing for the web, working wiht video, blogging and managing blog communities, using social networks for journalism etc.

Jim Tucker said...

Add to that 160 from the Toronto Star and 600 from Paris Match, plus a large number at the New York Times.