Columbia Journalism Review Seeks To Be Clearinghouse For Newsroom Job Loss Info – Forbes

An empty newsroom. The Rocky Mountain News closed down eight years ago after operating in Denver for nearly 150 years. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

CJR.org, the website of the Columbia Journalism Review. wants to be the clearinghouse for news of any job losses in America’s newsrooms.

The reason? Some of the country’s biggest media companies have started making journalist job cuts on the quiet, reports CJR’s David Uberti.

For example, Poynter reported May 22 that the Sacramento Bee, a McClatchy operation, was making an undisclosed number of layoffs and buyouts. That news followed recent cuts at the company’s operations in Fresno, California, and Seattle.

Earlier in May, Gannett made a number of cuts, but declined CJR’s request for information about them. CJR issued a call for information, asking for employees to provide any local intelligence, and about two dozen responded. The number of jobs lost totaled more than 60 in at least 15 different locations.

Asking journalists to provide the local skinny on what’s really happening at their newsrooms isn’t necessarily a new idea. Longtime reporter Jim Romenesko maintained a go-to website for journalists, jimromenesko.com, for a number of years. Reporters across the country would send him internal memos and inside information about their media companies. But Romenesko semi-retired in 2012.

Uberti seeks to fill that gap. In fact, when he published his plea for information on May 25, Uberti tweeted, “JOURNALISTS: With @romenesko out of the game, media needs new clearinghouse to track newsroom cuts. Help @CJR do it…”

Romenesko himself retweeted Uberti’s message. And it seems to have registered. Uberti tweeted the following day that he got about 10 emails after publishing his request.

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