Reader: USAT beset by ‘quota hiring,’ dead wood

Regarding Gannett’s imposition of a 10% job reduction on 83 of its U.S. daily newspapers, a reader says they’re “stunned” that flagship USA Today escaped unscathed. The 26-year-old title, the nation’s No. 1 circulation paper, has something like 2,000 employees.

“There is a major hiring and retention problem there,” the reader writes. “Way too much dead wood. Some of incompetency in the newsroom was brought on by quota hiring. C’mon, let’s be frank. There are people who have no idea what it means to work in a newsroom and probably will never learn or care about world events. They are people who wouldn’t have been hired by a bad weekly 20 years ago, let alone a national daily.

“But some of the problem employees are just people who haven’t kept up with the times. Unfortunately, I am not just talking about the current online initiatives. There are people who still don’t know how to use a printer or make an electronic request or attach a file to an e-mail. . . . If you can’t perform basic tech functions, you shouldn’t be working at a newspaper. By the same token, if you don’t know who is running for the Senate from your state, or are clueless about who won the Super Bowl last year, you also should find another profession.”

Join the debate, in the original post.

[Image: today’s front page, Newseum]

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