I woke up thinking about this photo this morning. In 2009, just more than a year after I started there, the News Leader in Staunton, Virginia mothballed the press and outsourced the printing to another newspaper. Workers used compressed air to blow paper dust off the surfaces. The space is now a CrossFit gym. It was the beginning of a cost-cutting effort that led to yet more layoffs and centralization of design and editing in Gannett hubs around the country. Just recently Gannett has announced that it plans to “spin off” the publishing arm of the company to focus on digital and broadcast. I’m not sure what that means, but I predict it means more job loss.
There are times that I miss newspapers, but I am forever thankful for the skills I learned from working at a daily newspapers. I will treasure the camaraderie of a newsroom, there is nothing like it anywhere else. What I do not miss is the fear of losing my job and the absence of life outside work.