Yesterday's news about plans to cut 30 news jobs at the ProJo, including five full-time positions, is very bad for anyone who cares about civic engagement and an informed public.
If there were any lingering doubts, the Journal, long a medium-sized jewel of American journalism, is withering before our eyes.
Talented staffers who report in the public interest, such as Mike Stanton and Kathy Gregg, can be expected to remain and continue their efforts.
Yet as others have observed, about various papers, cutting the news product offers even less of an incentive for people to purchase the newspaper. Some of the ProJo's youngest staffers will be among those cut, and that's not a good move for any kind of organization.
Word of the cuts quickly spread yesterday among mortified past and present ProJo staffers.
Asked about the impact, Tim Schick, administrator of the Providence Newspaper Guild, told me yesterday, "It represents a substantial change just in terms of the staff available to put things in the paper." Going forward, "We don't know what [the paper and its organization] is going to look like or how it's going to be structured."
Stay tuned for additional details as they develop.