Now that Times-Picayune journalists have learned that half the newsroom staff is being cut, they now have to return from being the news to reporting the news. One is coping by trying to do the job at hand — one day at a time.
Times-Picayune graphic artist Ryan Smith says he was told there would be no position for him in the digital format envisioned by owners Advance Publications. He’s been at the paper since 2007, and was a finalist for the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting for contributing to a 2008 murder investigation series. Smith says that while he was unhappy, it was some comfort to finally know where he stood.
“The past couple of weeks have felt like years. And it was nice to know, but then the reality hits.”
The paper announced last month that print editions would be produced only three times a week, starting in the fall. Smith says still hasn’t made any definite employment plans, but he’s getting tips on jobs from strangers, on Facebook and Twitter.
“This is the first time I’ve ever gone through looking for a job with social media, so it will be a new endeavor.”
In the meantime, he says he still owes the readers his best efforts. And he doesn’t want to disappoint those still fighting to keep the Times-Picayune a daily paper. One organizer says efforts are continuing to find another company willing to keep the Times-Picayune editions and staff at current levels.