The Phoenix Business Journal relates the dire circumstances reporters are facing at the Periódico de la República de Arizona (Arizona Republic). We’ve previously noted the shrinkage in size and content of the state’s increasingly irrelevant newspaper. But this latest installation regarding the severely destabilized condition of its festering carcass is shocking.
Reporter Hayley Ringle details the news that top editors from the Republic met with reporters from various Valley community sections late last week to inform them they were being ejected from the offices where they formerly toiled, to become “mobile reporters” with laptops. Their files, they were advised, could be kept in their cars.
It was suggested by the brass that the newly “mobile” deskless reporters park themselves in Starbucks or McDonald’s since both establishments have free Wi-Fi.
The dual agenda newspaper, whose reliably liberal pre-election endorsements are routinely disregarded, continues to layoff employees, enact voluntary retirement programs and close printing facilities. The rollout of a paywall last year has done little more than add to the daily’s excruciating death watch.
If things get dull at Starbucks or McDonald’s the former reporters might offer to fill in for the barista or burger flipper to augment what is likely to be their decreasing incomes. If the newspaper’s trend continues, there’s a good chance those “mobile” jobs could be short timers.