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More Trouble For The State Newspaper

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BUT SHOULD WE CELEBRATE?

|| By FITSNEWS || The (Columbia, S.C.) State newspaper is staring down additional reductions in force, according to a story published by Corey Hutchins of the Columbia Journalism Review.

Hutchins’ story noted that “a number of entries disappeared from the paper’s online listing of newsroom staff between Thursday and Friday” of last week – including features reporter Joey Holleman, education and religion reporter Carolyn Click, associate editor and editorial board member Warren Bolton, photojournalist Kim Kim Foster-Tobin, sports columnist Ron Morris, and sports writer Neil White.

“It’s tough to see some of the good journalists go,” the paper’s publisher told Hutchins. “I don’t know if we’ll ever have a better pool of folks.”

McClatchy – The State‘s parent company – posted a net operating loss of $11.3 million in the first quarter of 2015, although that was down from a net operating loss of $16.1 million during the first quarter of 2014.  The company blamed those losses on “the continued decline in print retail and national advertising, particularly among large advertisers.”  Which is obviously part of the proliferation of media … but also the ongoing sluggishness of the economy.

Ordinarily, we’d be inclined to engage in a bit of schadenfreude as it relates to The State – a left-leaning outlet which has engaged in agenda-driven reporting in the past.

But should we celebrate its losses?  No.  Not really.

What’s happening at The State is sad.  Even if the paper leans to the left (which it most assuredly does), it remains an important part of the marketplace of ideas in the Palmetto State – especially with websites like this one holding its reporters accountable.  And even though the paper has been consistently biased in a manner which does not serve the best interests of South Carolinians – it’s hard to argue how fewer watchdogs is a good thing under any circumstances.

And as shameless as The State has been, it’s biases pale in comparison to what we’re currently witnessing at another regional media conglomerate.

So while it may be tempting …  there will be no rejoicing in the misfortune of others as it relates to these latest journalistic job losses (or positions being shed at other papers across the country).

South Carolina – and America – need a vibrant Fourth Estate now more than ever.

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