Skip to comments.Journalists of Color Hit in Tribune Layoffs (Dinosaur Media DeathWatch™)
Posted on 08/18/2008 11:03:02 AM PDT by abb
Paper "Is Where Minority Reporters Can Go to Die"
The Chicago Tribune laid off more than 40 newsroom employees on Friday, including a disproportionate number of journalists of color, according to newsroom employees there.
"Coupled with last week's voluntary exit of more than 30 journalists," the additional cutback "means the paper has cut 80 people from its editorial staff as part of cost-cutting campaign at all of parent Tribune Co.'s newspapers," Phil Rosenthal wrote on the Tribune's Web site.
Among those called in Friday and told their jobs were eliminated was Ray Quintanilla, a 14-year Tribune veteran. "It's sad because if you look at the list, it's heavily minority. It looks bad," he told Journal-isms. He said his marching orders came a day after he challenged a powerful white Tribune columnist who for the fifth time had hired a white assistant, asking the columnist if he had considered any people of color. He recalled that owner Sam Zell had told employees to question authority.
Quintanilla said the columnist publicly challenged him to a fight, and said he has filed a complaint with the Tribune's human relations department.
The reporter said he could not prove his layoff was related to the Thursday incident, but said, "It just smells bad to me."
Neither the columnist nor Tribune editor Gerould W. Kern could be reached for comment.
Other departing journalists of color included Norman O. Unger, an assistant editor; Mark Hinojosa, assistant managing editor for multimedia; Paul Iwanaga, a photo editor; Michael Martinez, Los Angeles correspondent; Gentry Sleets, graphic artist; and editors Donna Pierce, Emeri B. O'Brien and Jeffrey Williams, among others, according to a list compiled by religion writer Manya Brachear and other newsroom sources.
Hinojosa's exit follows the departure earlier this year of another high-ranking Latino at the newspaper, George de Lama, the Tribune's managing editor for news.
"I was looking forward to earning my 20-year pin in about 6 months, but alas: POOOOOFFFFFF. . . and he's gone with lots of great memories," Unger said in a note to colleagues.
"To all my friends," read the subject line in an e-mail from Williams. "Who have been family for nearly 20 years," his message began, "especially those on the copy desk and in the DuPage bureau, take care. And remember who you are: the worlds greatest journalists and the finest human beings Ive ever known."
"'Endings are never easy,' Tribune editor Gerould W. Kern said in a note to staff, adding that 'with the departure of 80 individuals through today, the editorial staff of the Chicago Tribune stands at 480, the largest news organization in Chicago by a wide margin and one of the largest and most accomplished in the United States,'" Rosenthal's story continued. "'While painful, these staff reductions are necessary to establish the foundation for a sustainable future.'
"The latest round of cutbacks is the paper's fourth since late 2005, when the newsroom was said to have had 670 positions. Other departments at the paper have been making cuts, as well.'
Quintanilla, 46, said he expected more from the paper after he returned from covering Iraq in the early days of the war, which began in 2003. "The Tribune is where minority reporters can go to die. They get lost in the bureaucracy and they're ignored," he told Journal-isms.
Our company president created a Director of Diversity position and hired a woman of color from marketing. She reported to the President and attended all of the VP meetings. Her office was right next door to the President. It was a really high visibility position and he let us know that Diversity was extremely important to the company.
When income went south, she got punted back to marketing and her office went to yet another white guy.
i'm thinking of naming my next son "quintanilla" so that he won't bear the brunt of youthful teasing. wait, oh never mind.
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And just where are these folks going to find a job where they can continue to bash the republicans? Has anyone checked with NBC or MSNBC for these fired has beens? Maybe now they will learn what the “real world” has to offer someone with no talent and no idea of where their next dollar is coming from. “Just desserts” sounds good to me right now.
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How can any group of people be characterized as "heavily minority"?
Somebody should do a USATODAY-esque pie chart: “Journos Of Color Who Are Getting PWN3D”
A very elite group, I’d say.
Better Call the Obama Man cause he's got all the race cards gathered up to play against John McCain.
“The Chicago Tribune laid off more than 40 newsroom employees on Friday, including a disproportionate number of journalists of color....”
...has it occurred to anyone that the reason the people “of color” got the boot is because they were the weakest performers in the dept...and maybe they were always pretty sorry anyway and were merely EEOC hires from the git go...now that times are tough, the dead wood is getting thinned out...it’s survival of the fittest...and it’s only going to get worse.
Were the Sunday comics of color affected?
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Where does this guy get off trying to tell another columnist who to hire for an assistant, for pete's sake, and then accuse him of racism when he doesn't follow this asshat's diversity demand?
The reporter (Quintanilla) said he could not prove his layoff was related to the Thursday incident, but said, "It just smells bad to me."
What smells bad is Quintanilla's entitlement attitude. People who insert their noses into matters that don't concern them SHOULD be fired.
In whose opinion and what color? Beige? Tan? Flamingo pink?.................
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