03/17/09 213 W - + 14 - 11 News & Observer Cuts Jobs, Pay

WRAL reported yesterday that the News & Observer is eliminating 78 jobs, and cutting salaries of anyone earning over $25,000. The newspaper employees over 600 people, and the cuts represent 11 percent of the staff. The News & Observer has reduced its work force by 200+ full-time positions in the last year, the article notes. What has and will this mean for readers? Most obvious has been a reduction in the paper's size. For online readers, the digital version of the print version (www.newsobserver.com/print) has been shrinking as well. Letters to the editor and other opinion page content disappeared some weeks ago. Today's digital edition features only a sports section. Maybe it's just an error. And we're aware of the irony. Blogging about the online effects of changes to print news, an industry most certainly impacted by news-serving web sites such as blogs. If nothing else, web sites such as ours will get even better at covering fire and EMS stories. Though even that glib observation warrants a more detailed discussion, as does this story and situation. Times are a-changin'. The News & Observer dates to 1880, when The News merged with The Observer. The latter absorbed the The Sentinel, which was founded in 1865. Read more history on this Wikipedia page.

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