2008 Archives

As newspapers trim jobs, formerly fierce rivals forge news-sharing deals

Excerpt

The following story appeared in numerous publications in early January, including The Chicago Tribune. Tony Pederson, chair of the Journalism division in SMU's Meadows School of the Arts, provided expertise for this story.

January 5, 2009

By ANICK JESDANUN
Associated Press Business Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Just a dozen years ago, newspapers on either side of Arlington, Texas, fought fiercely for every reader in the fast-growing city, spending millions of dollars to expand their staffs and cover the smallest meetings and sporting events.

So it came as a surprise that The Dallas Morning News and The Fort Worth Star-Telegram started sharing photos and concert reviews in November.

But these are unprecedented times.

As readers and advertisers migrate to the Internet and the stumbling economy cuts deeply into revenues, news organizations are redefining what it means to compete. In recent months, papers around the country have tried to mitigate their staff cuts by forging partnerships with former rivals.

"In the old days, all of us were involved in the same stories," said Tony Pederson, a former Houston Chronicle executive editor and now journalism chairman at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. "When there was a big news event in Texas or nationwide, everybody was there. Now, that's not the case."

The sharing has intensified as newspapers stepped up job reductions and slashed travel budgets, and such arrangements are more palatable than closing news bureaus or dropping some coverage areas altogether.

Read the full story.

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