More Cuts at Palm Beach Post: Staffers Offered Buyouts

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Flickr creative commons/NS Newsflash
What in Ron Wiggins' name is happening at the Palm Beach Post?

First, they came for 300 staffers.
Then they came for TGIF.
Now, they are coming for courts reporter Jane Musgrave.

And we can't have that!

Journalism has been under fire for more than a decade, since the internet changed the economic game. All of us in the industry have pretty much accepted that we will one day be replaced by some tween's Instagram feed.

But still -- it's a little shocking when it actually happens.

This week comes news that the Palm Beach Post, in its most recent round of cost-cutting, has offered buyouts to 55-and-older staffers, i.e., the grownups.

Jane Musgrave is a courts reporter who made sense of complicated subjects like the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme, the state attorney's race, and the years-long fallout from a county commission ravaged by corruption. Not the kind of stuff that a fresh-outta-college whippersnapper can synthesize in a blog post but rather, the important, consequential, and heavy stories that require institutional knowledge.

Musgrave wrote eloquently on the Society for Professional Journalists' blog about how the buyout offers last week -- which were offered to about 40 staffers, she said -- have led to "age warfare" in her newsroom:

Since the emails went out, younger reporters have looked at us like fellow passengers on the Titanic. If we don't jump overboard with our buyout packages in hand, there will be no room for them on the life rafts. Instead of us, the iceberg will be heading at them.

Gossip Extra (and former Post columnist) Jose Lambiet reported recently that the Post's head honcho in advertising is stepping down and the paper is opening a marketing/advertising arm called Idea Bar, a project that was described as "bizarre" and rife with potential conflicts of interest.



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4 comments
Maynard56
Maynard56

Well, in the case of Palm Beach Post Reporter Jane Musgrave, she isn't very good at her job. Her bias is clearly visible in her articles, she uses her position as a reporter to avenge her friends and she makes errors (notice I didn't use the word "mistakes" of gross negligence that leaves a paper with massive liabilities.

For instance, sh wrote a sensational article called, "Feud Erupts between Palm Beach County Sheriff's Ex-Deputy and Agency," where she goes on to tell how this former deputy threatened suicide, etc. etc... the problem was, she had no basis of fact and wound up misidentifying the wrong person as the subject of the article, based only on a partial name. In fact, it was quite embarrassing because Jose Lambiet wrote an article on the completely false article and how it was changed to smooth things over. That is at http://gossipextra.com/2014/03/31/palm-beach-post-identifies-wrong-man-lawsuit-3531/


She is a reporter paid to do a specific job, and to report with accuracy, not butcher stories based on facts she's fabricated and conjecture. Yet that is what she does, and the Palm Beach Post probably feels it's better to cut the ties while they can. I say, good for them.

commenter8
commenter8 topcommenter

If I was Musgrave or any of the others offered buyouts, I'd bail. Get out while you still can.

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