ORIGINAL POST: How's journalism doing these days, you ask? Maybe I can best answer your question not so much with words as with a prolonged, larynx-shredding scream as I run witlessly out of the room.
Okay, fine, I'll try some words.
• First, the worst: Newspaper company Gannett has laid off lots of workers today, with more likely on the way. The layoffs come after a hostile takeover bid from a hedge fund subsidiary called Digital First Media. Gannett publishes 101 different newspapers, including USA Today, the Detroit Free Press, and others. Digital First already owns roughly twice that, which means the takeover, if successful, would create the largest newspaper company in the country—and the consolidation that would ensure would lead to countless unemployed journalists. This is a bad thing, and people are already losing their jobs. Earlier today, two staffers were laid off at Phoenix's daily paper, the Arizona Republic, including Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist Steve Benson. And editors at the Indianapolis Star and Wilmington, Delaware's News Journal also announced their layoffs via Twitter. Expect more of this. [UPDATE: Poynter has a more thorough of rundown of today's cuts, and they're brutal.] In Oregon, Gannett owns Salem's Statesman Journal, the Stayton Mail, and the Silverton Appeal Tribune.
• Second, staying closer to home: Western Communications—the parent company for Bend, Oregon's daily, the Bulletin—filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy yesterday. It owes more than $10 million to various creditors, including nearly a million to one of its newsprint suppliers. The Bulletin reports, self-referentially: "Western Communications plans to reduce debt and strengthen operations at its news organizations in Oregon and California.... Readers of The Bulletin will see changes in the coming weeks and months designed to create an economically sustainable and locally focused product." The Bulletin is Western's flagship paper, but it owns a few other papers in Oregon, including the Baker City Herald, La Grande's Observer, Brookings' Curry Coastal Pilot, and the Redmond Spokesman.
• Third, this just in: Verizon's Oath, or whatever it's called now ("Verizon Media Group," apparently), is going to cut 800 jobs, which constitutes 7 percent of its work force. The media group came about through a merger of Yahoo and AOL under the Verizon banner last year, and includes news sites like HuffPost, Engadget, Flurry, and TechCrunch.
• Last: Condé Nast announced it will be putting all of its publications behind a paywall. Some of them are already there, like Vanity Fair, the New Yorker, and Wired, each of which give you access to a few free articles per month before making you pony up. (Unless you delete those cookies in your web browser, of course.) But other Condé Nast properties will follow suit, including Teen Vogue, GQ, and—most interestingly—Pitchfork. The music news and review site was once, briefly, the gold standard for online music media, and while its trendsetting days are long passed, Pitchfork's transition to a paid site will mark the definitive end of an era. Perhaps not so coincidentally, Pitchfork's founder Ryan Schreiber left the company he founded last week.