Beginning next month, the layout and copy editing functions of the newspapers will be done in the Boston area. It is amazing that a company that is the largest publisher of small community newspapers in the United States has no idea of what a community newspaper is.
GateHouse Media has already cut its newspapers to the bone, set deadlines up in such a way that it is almost impossible for newspapers to even offer anywhere near timely coverage for their readers. Now GateHouse is further ripping away the facade that it is actually serving the communities in which it has newspapers.
A self-serving explanation of the new GateHouse initiative is offered in this article:
Centralized newspaper production is a trend in the industry, adopted by such companies as Gannett Co. Inc., Media General and Scripps. It’s the kind of cost-saving move that the experts say could help our print products survive to serve the community for many years to come.The change is being met with some trepidation in our newsroom, where we’re aware that some of the finer controls that we have over the layout of pages, sizing of photos and exact wording of headlines will no longer be ours.Reader will likely notice some changes —different typefaces and headers, a change to the masthead, stories in new locations. At first those changes may seem jarring. But, we promise that you find the same committed reporting that you expect from the TAB inside.
In other words, cookie cutter newspapers with none of the individuality that made those newspapers successful and attractive to corporate vultures like GateHouse Media in the first place.