The New York Times broke a story on May 23rd that immediately got New Orleanians, defenders of New Orleans, and defenders of traditional journalism all riled up at once. Early the next day, the Times Picayune made an official announcement on the paper’s website, Nola.com, that the story was true. News continued to roll out via the Gambit, the blog of Jim Romanesko, and other sources of the deep staff cuts, reduced print schedule, and other changes announced by the owners of the Picayune under the guise of creating a more robust “digital presence.”
Someone picked a bone with the wrong city.
In some ways, New Orleans is seen as a place with weak citizens. For years we’ve dealt with teenagers wielding guns around every corner, blatant corruption among our politicians, failing schools, pothole-ridden roadways, and a variety of other ills. In 2005, much of that was changed. Forced with the decision to either abandon our beloved city or fight for her survival, we fought.
We gathered arms, declared our discontent, and got to work. Since then we’ve turned into a model for education reform, we’ve marched on City Hall to protest murders, and we continue to undercover and rid our government of politicians and systems that are proven to be corrupt.
So when Newhouse and Advanced Publications announced they would, with one sweeping statement, turn a staple of New Orleans life into a thing of the past, they might have expected us to cower and accept the news like New Orleanians of old. If so, they were very much mistaken.
In 2012, New Orleans is a city of fighters.
The outcry on social networks was immediate and far-reaching. Local and national celebrities, news organizations, and average citizens alike tweeted support for the Times-Pic, angst over the future of her writers and editors, and a staunch determination to fight the decision.
The fight for New Orleans’ only daily paper continued this past Monday at a rally organized by supporters. This is a stark contrast to other cities who have undergone similar changes or are currently facing them, such as Birmingham.
On twitter, @SaveThePicayune was created to tweet ongoing details about the cause and #SavetheTP continues to be used as a rallying point. Here are some of the notable tweets that crossed our desk in the days immediately following the announcement:
About Molly Oehmichen: Molly is the current Editor-In-Chief of Silicon Bayou News. Molly's interests include start-up culture, business modeling, and psychology. In addition to editing for SBN, Molly blogs at her personal website and you can dive into the conversation with her directly on twitter or meet with her via Ohours. View author profile.