As a boy growing up in New York City during the 1930s each day I had the opportunity to plunge into either one of twelve newspapers whose views ranged from the Communist Daily Worker to the right wing Hearst Daily Mirror. Yesterday, Gannett, the largest American newspaper chain, announced it was ordering all of its 40,000 employees to take an unpaid one week leave in order to save money. Gannett chief executive, Craig Dubow, cited, “some of the most difficult economic conditions we have ever experienced” as the reason for making everyone take a one week unpaid vacation. Dubow insisted, “we are doing this to preserver our operations.”
A one week unpaid leave is a band-aid for a complex process that is impacting newspapers throughout the United States and, eventually, the entire world. The morning newspaper that waited one’s eyes upon waiting will soon only be seen by opening the computer. We are witnessing the end of an era– and the beginning of a new one??