Jun 5 2012
At A Glance
As the daily news vehicle, The Times-Picayune has represented the Greater New Orleans community for more than 175 years, serving three critical functions: ensuring news access for all citizens; providing serious coverage that protects the public; and, creating a common conversation and cultural cohesion amongst all New Orleanians…
…Cutting print publication of the Times-Picayune to three days a week diminishes the accessibility of vital information.
Times-Picayune Citizens’ Group Speaks out on Proposed Changes to The Times-Picayune
NEW ORLEANS — A group of concerned civic and business leaders have come together in the wake of the recent announcement by the owners of The Times-Picayune to move to a three-day a week print version in addition to the current web-based nola.com product.
The group’s purpose is to ensure the continuation of the delivery of a high quality, seven-day-a-week newspaper, with access to the entire community. The group intends to open discussions with the current owners as well as other interested parties to achieve its purpose.
Citing the unique New Orleans regional landscape, which has steadily and successfully rebuilt itself since the devastation of Hurricane Katrina to become a beacon for economic resilience and innovation, the group is reviewing all options and opportunities to influence the current plans, as is consistent with desires of the papers’ customers and wider community.
As the daily news vehicle, The Times-Picayune has represented the Greater New Orleans community for more than 175 years, serving three critical functions: ensuring news access for all citizens; providing serious coverage that protects the public; and, creating a common conversation and cultural cohesion amongst all New Orleanians.
With this history and service in mind, the Citizens Group believes that it is important to clearly state its desire for The Times-Picayune to remain a daily newspaper, and that any possible future change be conducted in a more effective and considerate transition than what was announced to take effect beginning in September.
“In the next several years, the city will host an unprecedented amount of national and international visitors and media, including the NFL Super Bowl, NCAA Women’s Final Four, NBA All-Star game, commemoration of the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and celebration of the city’s 300th birthday,” said Scott Cowen, president of Tulane University. “These events, along with the downtown opening of two new $1 billion-plus hospitals, deserve a more robust approach to news delivery.”
“Now is not the time to switch suddenly to a three-day a week publication,” stated Anne Milling, Founder of Women of the Storm. “A daily Times-Picayune has been the backbone of the community in our post-Katrina environment and provides the foundation for all civic dialogue and discourse. It is our hope that the owners will respect the voices and desires of the community which has been so loyal to the printed newspaper for generations.”
“I can and have accepted change in my life. But I do not think this is a good change,” said Leah Chase, Chef at Dooky Chase. “People like Sheila Stroup, Judy Walker, Doug MacCash, and Brett Anderson provide me with information about the things I love, and I can relate to what they write about. For people my age, this will be a terrible loss.”
“New Orleans was recently named the ‘#1 Fastest Improving Economy in the Nation’ by the Wall Street Journal,” said Michael Hecht, President & CEO of Greater New Orleans, Inc. “The drastic reduction of our paper is not only inconsistent with this economic renaissance, it also sends a negative - and erroneous - message to the rest of the world about our resurgent community’s viability.”
Times-Picayune Citizens’ Group (Full list still being compiled)
This release can be downloaded here.
New Orleans Paper Said to Face Deep Cuts and May Cut Back Publication: On May 23, 2012 the NY Times told of The Times-Picayune’s daily print demise… before many New Orleanians heard it from The T-P itself.
Will New Orleanians Follow The Times-Picayune Online After It Cuts Back on Print?: Poynter reports that The Times-Picayune isn’t the first newspaper publication to cut back its number of distribution days. But does that make it right?
A Look at a Disappearing Daily Ritual for Many: Capturing final fleeting moments, local investigative reporting non-profit, The Lens, documents New Orleans’ citizens enjoying their daily Times-Picayune.
Yesterday’s Papers: Next American City explores beyond New Orleans’ necessity for a daily news source and encourages the city to sustain local information avenues through organizations and publications built to serve the local community and its public interest.
Times-Picayune, beloved New Orleans daily, dies at 175: The Daily Reveille pens a beautiful obituary for The Times-Picayune.
Losing a Paper, Gaining an Opportunity: Next American City acknowledges that New Orleans is losing a vital source of information but reflects that the city is gaining an opportunity to address its severely handicapping digital divide.
Warren Buffett: New Orleans Times-Picayune’s New Publication Schedule Is ‘Simply Unsustainable’: Warren Buffett weighs in on the issue of The Times-Picayune.
Times-Picayune Meetings Now Unscheduled for Monday and Tuesday: The “water torture” continues inside The Times-Picayune newsroom as employees await word from up top.
The Axe falls: Life without that Daily Dose of Ink on Paper: Opinions from The Lens on old habits dying hard.
“Save the Picayune” Rally Draws Hundreds: June 4, 2012 saw hundreds of citizens gathered in support for saving The Times-Picayune, including artists, musicians and New Orleans movers and shakers.
600 Jobs Lost at Times-Picayune, 3 Other Papers: As shocking as the newsroom cuts were Tuesday at the Times-Picayune in New Orleans, the losses at its sister newspapers in Alabama were greater when factoring in the harm to diversity.
Times-Picayune Tells Readers: ‘This is a difficult week at our paper’: From Poynter, The Times-Picayune editor Jim Amoss addresses the public outcry regarding the loss of the daily printed paper.
In Which a Still-Great Newspaper Surrenders: From The Politics Blog at Esquire, how does a city with so little internet connectivity take away its singularly consistent, and accessible, news source?
Profits Aren’t the Only Consideration for Newspapers: CNN reports that The Times-Picayune is profitable, just not profitable enough for media magnates who reside states away. Cutting costs in the short-term isn’t beneficial if captured savings are not re-invested into better reporting and access methods in long-term.
Pushback at The Times-Picayune as Cuts Loom: The Gambit writes that even some of the T-P’s major advertisers joined in signing a petition against Advance Publications’ plan to scale back the newspaper’s operations.
PICKIN’ AWAY THE PICAYUNE: NOLA DEFENDER’s Dead Huey P. Long has his say. He may not suffer any love lost for the reporting from The T-P, but even crass-mouthed Long recognizes New Orleans is unnecessarily losing a necessary institution.
Times-Picayune Lays Off Nearly One-Third of its Staff: Reported by NOLA.com, as well as outlets like Bloomberg Business, Times-Picayune employees face three possible options: New media group, new job title, or severance as over 80 of the current 173 T-P newsroom staff is asked to part ways with the paper.
Front Page Headlines: Front page headlines about cutting the staff who write the headlines.
Times-Picayune Cuts Half of News Staff: The Times-Picayune’s demise as reported by The Wall Street Journal.
Times-Picayune in New Orleans Cuts Publication to 3 Days a Week: The Los Angeles Times takes note of The Times-Picayune’s push toward electronic news media.
Gutting The Times-Picayune to Save It: From Forbes, “The local controversy has focused on the loss of a seven-day newspaper, and that is a terrible, baffling development in city with a lot of residents who lack an Internet connection. But the real problem is, the Times-Picayune’s owners are destroying their professionally-run newspaper in favor of a terrible website with no discernible online news strategy.”
Why a Weak Website Can’t Replace a Daily Newspaper in New Orleans: From The Atlantic: Making the move towards web-centric news reporting might be fine… if the website was worthy.
Poorer Communities Continue to Suffer Lack of Broadband Access — and Related Opportunity: In light of The Times-Picayune’s decision to diminish its publication days, The Lens reprinted its March 2012 article chronicling many New Orleans citizens’ plights with living in a broadband desert.
Opinion: Changes at TP were necessary, but are they the right ones?: The Lens’ Jed Horne opines on how The T-P can compensate for its impending thrice-weekly distribution: “What’s missing in New Orleans, if this is to remain a city capable of publishing a daily paper, is the resolve and commitment that comes with local ownership. Meanwhile, one can only hope a newly reconstituted Times-Picayune regains its footing, finds the right balance of web to paper - and retains the staff sufficient to fulfill it.”
‘A Morning Ritual’: New Orleans Fights For Its Paper: The fight for The Times-Picayune covered by NPR’s “Morning Edition.”