New Haven Independent staff takes its first vacation in nine years

Editor Paul Bass tells readers in a video:

For the first time in nine years we’re going to take a two-week break. The New Haven Independent is going to unplug and not publish any stories, any comments – anything – for the next two weeks.

They say that nowadays a news site can’t do that – you’ve gotta go 24/7 on the Internet news cycle … you can’t even take a shower you can’t have a snack, you can’t take a nap, you can’t read a book, you gotta be plugged, plugged, plugged. We’re going to test that proposition; we’re going to unplug for two weeks.

On its website, The Independent asks readers if news websites should ever take two-week breaks, and nearly 60% say no. The journalists at the non-profit news outlet deserve some time off, though.

“Last year was brutal with a once-in-two-decades crucial mayoral election
that involved 6 days a week working long hours (not counting Shabbes) with
no time off for over a year,” Bass tells Romenesko readers. “This August seemed like a good time to shut down; 2 staffers left, first new one starts Sept. 2. It was a little hard, but after thinking about it, I thought it made sense.”

The editor says he needs to pace himself and avoid burnout.

“We may shut down the final week of the year too. I don’t envision closing down for two weeks in August in the future, but maybe one week. So maybe a total of two weeks for the year.”

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