Reader: Don’t tar all of Gannett with same brush

Regarding my call for advice to a sports journalist considering work at a Gannett newspaper, a reader says: “As someone who has worked at multiple Gannett sites and at family owned dailies, I would be cautious of tarring all of mother Gannett with the same brush, however tempting it may be. Some indies offer great work environments but lousy pay. Some papers in Gannett border on Quaker churches in the amount of Democracy and consensus-based decision-making they promote in newsrooms. Others are more top down. In my experience, pay at Gannett is better than at other chains. Staffing is leaner, but maybe in these days that’s a good thing (Knight Ridder implosion, etc.). If you want to work at Gannett, talk to the people at the individual paper, just as you would any other employer. Do your homework, and create your own opinion. Of course, that approach won’t build blog viewership, but it will help with your job search.”

Join the debate, in the original post.

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8 Responses to “Reader: Don’t tar all of Gannett with same brush”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    That’s good advice no matter where you plan to work. One thing I would add is talk to former employees, retirees or people who have moved elsewhere. They’re usually pretty straight, and because they have the perspective of distance, can be relatively objective.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    I’m in a GCI newsroom and my experience hasn’t been awful at all.

    We have some borderline incompetent people in the ME and EE slots, but there are a lot of good people under them with the right attitude. It’s fine.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    The stench of incompetence in the top two newsroom jobs. Otherwise, everything is “fine.”
    The line editors and content providers will get the product out on time.
    That’s the Gannett I have come to know and love.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    Not to get all new-age Karl Marx or anything, but each employee should internalize this thought: “I am working for myself.”
    Everything you do should be geared toward getting better rewards. The rewards could be more money, greater status, improved life satisfaction, or what have you.
    Once you give greater loyalty to the company than yourself, it has you. You will convince yourself that you “owe it” to “them.”
    They will collect if you don’t pay yourself first.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    I’m 10+ years in. I definitely pay myself first.

    The good thing for me is the the top newsroom editors are so uninspiring that it’s easy to maintain a “safe” distance from the organization.

  6. Plan Says:

    “The good thing for me is the the top newsroom editors are so uninspiring that it’s easy to maintain a “safe” distance from the organization.”

    To be fair, they’re just repeating the same bullshit they were taught at corporate meetings and told to pass along to the servants at the local level.

    Every few months it changes.

    Remember the big emphasis on “The First Five Graphs” a few years back. Within a few months it became “Real People, Real News” and no one ever mentioned the five graphs again.

    Then we went through a few more hilariously sloganized campaigns from the terribads at corporate, until we ended up with the “Information Centers” which was the same exact shit the company has been doing all along, with one important distinction — since news staff has been drastically cut, now readers are asked to contribute “citizen journalism.” Back in the day that used to be called freelance.

    Oh, what a shitty company.

  7. Anonymous Says:

    Plan, you had me dying of laughter — so true.

    I have worked for Gannett for the last six years and recently got out.

    Best decision I ever made. I don’t know what other Gannett sites are like — I worked for two — but I am with a locally-owned family paper now. The money is less, but so is the stress and the amount of pure BS you have to deal with. Totally worth the small pay cut.

    No more meetings about corporate projects that never happen, or dealing with EE and MEs that have no clue as to what they are doing. Or better yet, their whole job is going to corporate meetings about projects that never happen.

    I am free. Let the inexperienced reporters work for Gannett. Make sure you don’t have a family or want a social life before you sign on though.

    Now I have both.

  8. Anonymous Says:

    Here’s a weird thought, there’s even life outside the newsroom INSIDE THE SAME BUILDING!

    Yup, we’re the ones doing the profitable, but oh so unethical advertorial sections. We’re the production department that takes the AdQ credit when the newsroom leaves an extra hedshot in the middle of an ad. We’re the pressroom sitting around so Podunk High School can get their lacrosse scores in. We’re the IT desk that has to tell you AGAIN how to fit-to-box a graphic in software you’ve used for five years. We’re the circ department that has to explain why Brett Favre is on the front page again. We’re the finance department that always takes the first layoff hit.

    There are plenty of people at every site that may not write, but they are just as proud to be part of the daily miracle as the journalists are.

    I’ve found that when I come down from my lofty capital-J Journalist perch, there’s plenty of good people in the rest of the building who believe in our product – nearly as much as us ink-stained wretches in the I.C.

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