Friday, December 19, 2008

Job cutbacks: reprieved
My company’s wave of them was yesterday. (Not the worst scare of my life but in the bottom five.) I made the cut thanks to not being normal by today’s standards (longevity/loyalty, staying at the same job for more than 10 years)! Not only that but other prayers seem answered. The neglect and unprofessionalism (not my doing!) that drove my small-town newspaper into the ground are over. For too long, to run the place cheaply, non-journalists, nay, people who can’t write a sentence (glorified paginators) were hired as editors and there was a generally cliquey environment with people barely out of their teens working unsupervised. (A reporter who’d been on board since 1963 quit in disgust.) Goodbye to all that. The place is being shut down and merged with another paper. For the first time in ages I’ll get to work in a grown-up newsroom for a real editor who cares about the paper. The same pay but more responsibility and a nice title as well.

I’ll miss most of the people who were let go, such as the retired teachers, the young photographer and our wonderful Leicester-born society-pages editor, but God willing they’ll be fine (the former society editor is married to a doctor and the others have family).

Our paper, about a century old, had a fine tradition. It was long a family business: an authentically Catholic conservative German-American one. When I started the former owner still picked up his free copy every week and we got Good Friday off. In a more literate age his product was much bigger/thicker; his long 1960s editorials warning of the global Red menace are of historical value!

Our building, also about 100 (at one time part of it was the town jail!), was very home-like to me but, like the quality of the newsroom, has been falling apart.

A story of death and resurrection? In any event I’m happy to be a part of it.

So... starting in a fortnight, a new job at another home-town institution in a marvellous office much closer to home.
Te Deum laudamus,
Te Dominum confitemur...

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