Commentary

Cleveland Won't Become 'News Desert' After Newspaper Job Cuts

The Plain Dealer this month will cut 22 newsroom employees  as the Cleveland newspaper struggles with declining print subscriptions and revenue. Tim Warsinskey, who took over as editor of the newspaper this month, announced the planned cuts in an op-ed.

Warsinskey bemoaned the diminished stature of the print edition, recalling that when he was a paper boy, he had 114 houses on his route, 109 of which were paid subscribers. These days only a handful of people receive home delivery in his similar-sized neighborhood.

But he reassured readers that Cleveland isn't becoming a "news desert," a fate that's befallen thousands of other U.S. communities that no longer have a single source of local news.
The Plain Dealer and sister website Cleveland.com, both owned by Advance Local, will have 77 journalists covering news for Northeast Ohio readers. Its editorial staff includes reporters in Akron and Columbus, the state's capital, along with Washington, D.C.
The newspaper will continue to print a daily edition and deliver it on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, he said.
The Save Journalism Project, a not-for-profit group that aims to raise awareness about the technology industry's negative effect on news publishers, also bemoaned the job losses. (The Plain Dealer eliminated 12 newsroom positions last year.)
“Northeast Ohio already lost the Youngstown Vindicator last year," Nick Charles, a former journalist for The Plain Dealer, who is a spokesperson for the Save Journalism Project, stated: "The gutting of the Plain Dealer only exacerbates the local news crisis in these communities.”

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