Management went through furloughs in 2020, remaining staff continued their beats and did amazing work reporting about the COVID–19 pandemic and BLM protests – looking back: before Gatehouse paid millions for Gannett to basically takeover operations, regional management/pseudo–editors made internal moves to higher positions that would be less vulnerable to elimination or layoff. Publisher had nowhere to go so they were eliminated soon after merge. Also since sports took a long break because of the pandemic the regular beat sports reporters were no longer thought to be needed, so to the gallows with local sports. As late 2020/early 2021 rolls in the entire advertising staff is bought out or eliminated – now as the first quarter is reviewed more Reduction in Force papers are blindsided to dedicated journalists who are paid lower than implied minimum wage of $15– most experienced staff, some with over 25 years experience, are sick of the condescending treatment and corporate desire for 'how many hits did this story get' make–or–break a career rule, local organizations are told their stories or community listing are no longer relevant unless over at least a certain level of hits from any story of them before, so that cuts out a majority of local coverage in a small town. We never know how it could ever be worse, then it is... There is one ENC newspaper has only one reporter position left when most staff were eliminated after Hurricane Florence, this single reporter has to cover the entire town and basically provide all content. It is a very pitiful situation for long time careers and news, last of the local news journalism days are upon us, newsrooms are empty.
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