After seeing a "How former Seattle Post-Intelligencer journalists are doing" post on Romenesko last week, it got me thinking about how my fellow former New York Times News Service colleagues are faring as a whole, just over a year since getting the devastating news that our department was being outsourced to
Bangladore Gainesville, Fla.
A recent reunion in the old Times newsroom on 43rd Street -- now dba Bowlmor Lanes(!) -- revealed some surprising details:
These numbers are pretty grim -- unemployment benefits and part-time work are better than nothing, but people have families, need health benefits -- and the figures don't even take into account a sizable group of part-timers who counted on the Times News Service for their primary paycheck (and got nothing when they left).
And then there's the untold havoc this whole thing has wreaked on some of our personal lives. (Wait, I take that back. I guess divorce court is pretty "told.") Suffice to say, it's been a challenging year for everyone. Lucky for me, I have landed on my feet -- and am happy to report that I remain "strangely unbitter." (It helps that I've been fortunate enough to land a new full-time position and did some freelance reporting over the summer, writing a bunch of articles and some items that appeared on Page Six.) I'm also fortunate that I still count many of my former colleagues as friends, and that's a role that doesn't appear to be being outsourced anytime soon.
What I am a year later, however, is disgusted that we live in a world where a paper as great as The New York Times believes it must play a shell game to please stockholders -- there is NO WAY they are saving anything close to what they first promised -- and in the process diminish the brand (grad students editing Times copy in Gainesville? Come on!) while causing undue harm to a group of professionals who were willing to make enormous sacrifices to keep the department intact. And for what, a temporary bump in the stock price? This doesn't make me bitter, it just makes me sad.
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