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Posts Tagged ‘Rodney Curtis’

More Detroit Daily Press Employees Speak Out

detroit daily pressWe’ve compiled more reactions from journalists who started work at the Detroit Daily Press only to learn Monday that the paper was going on hiatus a week after launch.

Rodney Curtis, who was hired to be the paper’s photo editor, wasn’t so sure about the possibilities to begin with:

I found myself excited about the possibilities, loving the photo editing process, grooving on being with fellow shooters and seeing my shots in print. But along with those highs came the caffeine diet, the irregular sleep, the frustration with management and the complaining. Even being in the newsroom for less than two weeks, the complaining— mine included—was substantial….The first few meetings I took, over breakfast with the initial editor, left me feeling ambiguous and hesitant. I found myself happy that the paper was delayed once, then again, then a third time.

And James Briggs, who left startup AnnArbor.com to cover the Lions and the Red Wings for the Detroit Daily Press, says the whole thing makes him angry at himself, not the paper:

I’m angry at myself in the same way you might get angry if you fell for a Nigerian scam. You knew it was too good to be true, but you let greed take over and wash away common sense.

You vividly remember the last possible moment you could have backed out, when all your analytical instincts were screaming at you to walk away, and you want that moment back. But you — I —didn’t listen, and the moment passed. Now, all that’s left is getting over the embarrassment and moving on.

He, like many others, believe the paper is not coming back in January: “If you can’t sell advertising the week of Thanksgiving, how will you do it in January, the worst month of the year in terms of newspaper revenue?”

Reporter Wendy Clem also notes that subscribers received refunds yesterday, along with a note explaining the suspension. <!–Clem also alleged on her Examiner blog that “an irrefutable source confirms that the other Detroit print behemoths actually threatened to pull their own papers from retailers such as CVS, if they kept good on their original promise to carry and sell the Detroit Daily Press.” CVS, in an e-mail message to Crain’s Detroit, denies all claims of bullying.–>

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Free Press Cuts 22

The Detroit Free Press eliminated another 22 jobs from its newsroom, reports Richard Prince at the Maynard Institute.

The names:
Desiree Cooper, columnist
Nichole Christian, editorial writer
Sharon Wilmore, an assistant managing editor
Nate Trela, an assistant metro editor
Laura Varon Brown, Audience editor and columnist, who responded to readers’ questions about the paper
Javan Kienzle, copy editor
Fred Fluker, graphic artist
Christy Arboscello, reporter
Emilia Askari, reporter
Dan Cortez, reporter
Kim North Shine, reporter
Amy Butters, copy editor
Janice Monarrez and Julie Armstrong, Web editors
Paul Barrett and Bernie Czarniecki, sports agate editors
Marty Westman, artist
Rodney Curtis, assistant photo editor

Prince raised questions about the diversity of the remaining staff, as 15 of those who lost their jobs are women, six are African American, two are Hispanic and two are Asian.

Prince says Paul Anger, the Free Press’ editor and publisher, did not respond to a question about whether newsroom diversity had increased or decreased.

In the 2009 ASNE diversity survey, the Freep reported 29.5 percent journalists of color, which is…actually, a lot higher than most newsrooms.