My blog is about print. It is about celebrating creativity and innovation in print journalism as cuts imperil its future. But as a 20-year journalism vet who has seen and experienced many layoffs, and survived, I feel it is incumbent on me to honour those who are facing cuts right now. It was announced today that HuffPost Canada and HuffPost Quebec are shutting down, cutting 23 jobs. The employees filed for union certification in February, just two weeks ago. So this sort of goes against what this blog stands for, being always positive, but this is a big deal. And the positivity comes in celebrating the great work by this staff over the years.
Most of my social network is journalists or formal journalists. And news like this spreads so fast. It’s like a loss in the family. We mourn. We rally. We support. Nearly my entire Twitter feed is taken up with tweets about this one topic.
So this blog is about newspaper covers. In my first post I said no one remembers the front page of a website on big days. But I want people to remember this one. I will even review the design. It’s white space. Lots of white space, and in the middle lies an important message. And it’s different. It’s not what you’re expecting. Nor should you be. Newspapers pages are meant to provoke emotion. News websites are generally designed to convey information. So this site sticks out. Sadly for BuzzFeed, its starkness probably garnered more attention than they would have liked it to. Reporters were surprised to find out the site was shutting down. They were met with this page. The page makes a statement on the state of journalism and issues with ownership and the sad state of the industry. Another reason to mark this is that eventually, unlike a print page, it will be gone. And no one will see what many saw, when they learned the site was shut down. So here it is.
The layoff process was also unfortunate. I have learned from mistakes and from what I have done to make the layoff process more human. Using a password of spring is here is unadvisable. Layoffs happen. They will continue to happen, especially in journalism. But we can do better. Consider even the smallest of details.
While it was in a different space from my focus in journalism, and especially different from my focus on this blog (it was meant to be a print v. digital space), I want to acknowledge the incredible work done by HuffPost Canada staff.
There is so much more to say, and I may update this post. But for now, I will now turn this space over to some in-the-moment tweets. In the meantime, as tweeted by Brian Bradley at the Toronto Star: “Hug a journalist day. And then hire them.”
Tweet about the importance of journalism. And why these jobs matter. And some tweets.