Longtime Chicago Tribune reporter: The golden era of journalism ended when I was laid off

“My lay-off [from the Chicago Tribune five years ago Wednesday] was a symptom of what was going on throughout the established news media in the face of unprecedented competition,” writes Patrick Reardon.

Pat Reardon and his manual typewriter

Patrick Reardon in the mid-1980s

“Newspapers shrank. They narrowed their focus. The Tribune cut its foreign and national bureaus, raised its newsstand and home delivery prices, enticed older workers to accept buyouts and laid off more than 100 staffers. Including me.”

He’s optimistic about journalism, though.

I like the opportunity that the Internet gives to people with a passion for reporting.

Anyone can start a blog, and, if you’re supplying interesting, accurate and relevant information, you’ll attract readers.

No question, you may not make much money. Or any money.

Still, I think there will continue to be people who are on fire with a desire to learn about what’s happening and to tell others what they’ve found. Unlike me, they won’t have a massive news operation at their backs and paying their salaries.

* My lay-off and the golden age of journalism (patricktreardon.com)