According to an article by the Phoenix Business Journal, some Arizona Republic reporters are being pushed out of their offices and into fast food places.
In efforts to save the company money, approximately 20 Republic reporters were told to conduct their work elsewhere, at either Starbucks or McDonald’s, due to their free Wi-Fi. They were handed laptops and told they would be “mobile reporters.” Working from home was discouraged – editors want these reporters in the field.
While talk of a dying newspaper industry is nothing new, this particular story is. With reporters always out in the field and never in their office, it will surely decrease the feeling of community throughout the company. Not only do journalists lose the opportunity to bounce ideas off their colleagues at their leisure, but it changes the whole dynamic of a newspaper company. It wouldn’t even be like a newspaper company anymore, but rather an awkward middle ground between print and online. Newspaper companies have always been known to work together, much like a family. Back in the earliest times of newspapers, owners used to be actual families.
While no harm may come from this, I certainly don’t think any good will, either. The paper let go 30 employees this summer, and clearly they are still struggling. It seems that any money this does save them will only be short-term.