By David Scharfenberg, Boston Globe

The decline of the American newspaper has meant the departure of some of our most experienced – and recognizable – journalists.


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At The Boston Globe, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Eileen McNamara took a buyout in 2007. Just down the road, longtime Providence Journal political reporter Scott MacKay walked away, too.

But increasingly desperate newspapers, buffeted by declining circulation and the continued migration of advertising to the Web, are turning from buyouts to layoffs these days.

And younger, less-familiar staffers at the bottom of the seniority list are feeling the pinch. I should know. The Providence Journal laid off this 30-something reporter just a few months ago.

The cuts have short-term implications, of course. School committee meetings will go uncovered, State House scandals unreported. But they also threaten the long-term health of journalism: With little hope for a resurgence, the generation that might reinvent a dying craft is simply leaving the news business behind.


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