Last week, as most Boston-area papers reported on, GateHouse New England cut salaries by around 7.75 percent.
These cuts worry me. A lot. Not because of what it means for the company, which has a huge amount of debt, but because of what it means for my colleagues.
I am lucky. I’m young, don’t have debt, don’t have kids to take care of, don’t really have that many bills to pay. This pay cut definitely sucks, but I know I can survive. I also have the option to switch fields to something more lucrative. I’m at the beginning of my career, not the middle or end of it.
These cuts can be devastating for single parents or people already just making ends meet. It’s not as though journalists get paid very much to begin with. Everyone I know puts in hours and hours of work and dedication into their papers. The readers may not think so, but that’s the case. These cuts might be temporary, but I don’t know what they’ll mean to my co-workers. Is this a second job or another mortgage?
Basically, it just pretty much sucks. A column by Steven Syre in the Boston Globe today examines how GateHouse’s debt. The ending quote really resonates, at least with me:
The GateHouse papers have serious problems of their own. That’s true of every newspaper, including The Boston Globe. But the people working at and managing GateHouse’s papers didn’t make the decisions that put their parent in such a deep, deep hole.