“Doing more with less.” We’ve all heard it.
After WMAR Baltimore shrunk its newsroom by 20 percent earlier this month (buyouts, not layoffs, thank goodness), it’s now asking the layoff survivors to pitch in and double or triple their responsibilities.
The station retains eight reporters, “all of whom will be asked to develop new skills and pick up new responsibilities in the coming months,” in fact learning to set up their own cameras, the Baltimore Sun reports. The 15 videographers, too, will start doing their own reporting.
It’s not necessarily more work, just different work, but it’s still possibly an issue, say analysts.
“I’ve known some stations where 20-year veteran reporters have picked up cameras and gone out and started shooting and loved it,” Deborah Potter, director of NewsLab, a nonprofit TV journalism resource center in Washington, told the Sun. “But there are going to be some people who may get out of the business. You can’t simply say, ‘We’re going to take all of our square pegs and make them round.’ You can’t do that.”