Durango Herald sports editor John Livingston shared his thoughts for why he is leaving the media industry, and his thoughts are as illuminating as they are heartbreaking:
“Because of all the cuts, I no longer have the ability to live up to the standards I set during my early days … that were only elevated when I arrived at The Herald in 2014 and was surrounded by a vibrant newsroom full of incredible journalists who opened my eyes and fostered my intense love for the profession.
“Despite the staff reductions at The Herald, not unlike those seen at print – and digital – media companies across the globe, I have worked tirelessly to do the job the way I feel it is supposed to be done, even after the sports staff was cut from three to two in 2016, and again when it was reduced to one in March of 2020.
“I doubled and tripled down on my commitment and refused to lower the bar after each of those cuts. … On top of added daily duties, I frequently spent scheduled days off covering our athletes and their ever-growing list of accomplishments. Often, those were some of the best stories to write. But it became a burden on friends and family each time I broke out the laptop to write another story or conduct another interview.
“The expectation of continually doing more with less is not attainable. Burnout is rampant, and there is a greater emphasis on page views and story counts than quality journalism. I will always fight for the latter.“
One thought on “‘Breaking up with Journalism’”
As someone who changed my major back in 1975 at UNC from Business to Journalism/Public Relations, never did I imagine I would be choosing a profession that would be phased out.
Although I chose public relations upon graduation, I was able to work with many wonderful print and electronic journalists to make great stories happen. PR was unfortunately one of the first depts hit over the years when budget cuts came.
As a charter member of UNC’s student chapter of Sigma Delta Chi/Society of Profesional Journalists and past president of the Colorado professional chapter, I relish the friendships and working relationships I developed over 40 years.
It makes me sad to see so many print and electronic media outlets cut back to the point it is nearly impossible to work.
I tip my hat to all those fine journalists. Your work was not in vain and you will be remembered. Job well done.