Posted By Ester Venouziou,
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
| Comments (1)
The two weeks after I got laid off from the St. Petersburg Times, I received much mail from them, or on their behalf: my official termination letter, my 401K options, my cobra options ... and an advertisement urging me to become a subscriber to their Pulitzer-Prize winning paper.
Talk about rubbing salt in the wound (or insert your favorite cliche here). My initial reaction was to crumble the letter, stuff it back in the pre-paid envelope and send it back to them, marked "$#%!$!$@#, Attention: HR department."
But instead I set it aside, in my pile of "bills and other stuff I'll get to eventually." Eventually was Sunday night. I plopped everything on the floor and started to organize my life.
• • •
About halfway through I got to the St. Petersburg Times subscription letter. And immediately, I knew what I was going to do.
• • •
My first "real" job in journalism was right out of college, at the Boca News (now an online-only news site, with no paid staff), in South Florida. That was in the early 1990s, and, like many young journalists, I had a glorified view of journalism. We were ready to take on the world, make a difference, be the voice for the underdog.
I scoffed at people who said they didn't read the paper. Seriously?! What is WRONG with you?!!!?!
Years later the idealism faded and cynicism kicked in.
But as gloom-and-doom death-of-newspapers talk kicked in, my pleas took a more personal tone: How could you NOT get the paper?! Don't you want me to have a job in a few years?!?!!?!
• • •
The Times has a talented group of writers, photographers, copy editors and designers. The Times, even with a dwindling staff in these tough economic times, remains one of the best newspapers in the country and one of the largest news-gathering operations in the Tampa Bay region.
Besides, even though I no longer work at the Times, many of my friends still do. How could I NOT support them?
I'm signing up for an annual subscription. I might even include a few extra dollars.
you starting over after a layoff? We want to hear your story! Please
email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and include your story and contact
info. We will try to include as many stories as possible in future
Ester Venouziou, founder of LocalShops1.com and co-founder
of Gulfport! Magazine, is available for freelance projects: writing,
editing, design or social media. She can be reached at
email@example.com or 727.637.5586.
death of journalism
do you read the paper
layoffs at the st. petersburg times