Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Devaluing Journalists

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Devaluing Journalists

Article excerpt

The recent crisis at 'The Jersey Journal' is yet another reminder of the penuriousness that threatens the industry from within

First things first: Thank goodness The Jersey Journal survives. The death of a daily newspaper wounds any community it once served, but it was especially distressing to think that Jersey City, N.J., and its environs would have to suffer such a blow after shaking off decades of urban decay to emerge as a vibrant home for young professionals and a gateway for ambitious immigrants. It's somehow appropriate that teeming Hudson County is the only Garden State county without a golf course. But it would be very wrong if it did not have its own daily newspaper.

That the Journal, which first came off the presses on May 2, 1867, is publishing today is a tribute to its union truck drivers, office workers, and journalists. In an agonizing decision, every second union member voting to approve Advance Publications' survival plan was casting a ballot that would eliminate his or her own job. Management must not betray that brave leap of faith.

All that said, the Journal's still- precarious fate cannot be explained only by the brutal publishing recession or Hudson County's polyglot demographics. As usual, our Allan Wolper gets immediately to the heart of the matter in his "Ethics Corner" column this week.

His most dispiriting revelation is the cynical way the Journal -- after negotiation with The Newspaper Guild local, it must be said -- has twisted the honorable institution of journalism internships to get reporters on the cheap. …

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