In the Loop

Dead trees and "deadwood" at the Star Tribune

Posted at 2:01 PM on May 10, 2007 by Andrew Haeg

Like anyone else who cares about Minnesota news, I've been watching with interest the developments at the Strib, and coverage of those developments.

Photo by Michael Jastremski for openphoto.net CC:Attribution-ShareAlike
deadwood.jpg
Stories about the Strib's recent announcement of 145 layoffs (50 in the newsroom) seemed stamped from the timeworn, doom-and-gloom mold: slick capitalists swoop in scoop up beloved hometown operation on the cheap, fire a bunch of people and prepare to take their winnings and run. The newspaper gets dumbed down, society loses an important watchdog, etc. That all may be true.

But it seems a more optimistic story line might yet emerge. The Minnesota Monitor published an interview with departing veteran Star Tribune editor Jim Boyd. He says Avista's decisions to cut staff and focus on long-form journalism and local news may actually strengthen the newspaper, even as it reduces staff. "... there was a fair amount of deadwood in that newsroom," Boyd told the Monitor. "The question is whether the deadwood goes away and the really good wood stays."

As a Strib reader, I think Avista's plans to focus more on long-form reporting and local news sound pretty much what I've been looking for. I can get national and international news from a lot of different places. And I can get opinion from just as many. What I want is smart, solid news coverage, and I don't care if it comes in the form of a paper.

Less deadwood, fewer dead trees.

May 2007
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