The Las Cruces Sun News laid off three journalists this week and the editor resigned. The EL Paso times also laid off four journalists.
NMPolitics.net has details: Layoffs hit Las Cruces Sun-News again; top editor resigns
Here’s a statement from SPJ Rio Grande president Laura Paskus, on behalf of the board:
Already in New Mexico, we have too few reporters trying to cover too many issues. And many are doing that on a salary that’s not sustainable, and in a job that’s not guaranteed or secure.
We’ve watched the disappearance of locally-owned newspapers. And we’ve watched corporations from out of state buy out newspapers and newsrooms. Neither of those have been good for the communities those papers serve. As out-of-state owners value profits above their employees and the communities they’re supposed to serve, all New Mexicans suffer.
Right now in New Mexico, we need more reporters covering the border. Not fewer. We also need more reporters covering oil and gas development in the San Juan Basin and the Permian Basin. We need more reporters covering WIPP and the proposed new facilities in southwestern New Mexico and west Texas.
In recent years, we’ve seen round after round of layoffs. And the latest announcements are disturbing, to say the very least. At this moment in history access to accurate information has perhaps never been more important.
Like most people, I read online newspapers and get my national and international news from media outlets outside the state. And I realize many people rely on cable television. But that access to more information about the nation and the globe can’t be at the expense of knowing what’s happening in our own neighborhoods and counties.
At a time when we need to know more — about one another, about what’s happening around us, and about how our governments operate — the news of these layoffs is very bad for all New Mexicans.