Even in the worst circumstances, occasionally a brief but shining example of human decency and evidence that not everyone is completely terribly will surface. In the wake of announcements that the New Orleans Times-Picayune would transfer to a primarily-online outlet and print only three days a week (despite local efforts to reverse the decision), everything got worse as more than 200 employees, including those well-established and award-winning, were laid off, about a third of the paper’s staff.
This is awful for a laundry list of reasons, and naturally, if friends or colleagues of yours were in the same situation, you’d want to figure out at least a small way to help them out, or at least do something nice for them, right? If not, there might be something a bit wrong with you. Anyway, that’s just what former Times-Pic staffer and current Chicago Tribune editor Angela Rozas did, with the help of some other former Picayuners, per a story from Romenesko
. Rozas called the Wit’s Inn, a regular staffer haunt, and with some old friends pitching in, opened a bar tab for staff who had been laid off.
As Rozas told Romenesko:
“There’s a tight community of former Picayuners, and we’ve never forgotten our time there and our friends there. Whenever one has lost a job the others have pitched it, whether by creating a website or sending some beer money. This time there were so many of our friends [who lost jobs] we didn’t know where to start.”
Obviously, a round of beers won’t get a major mass of talented journalists, editors and other professionals in many disciplines their jobs back, but it’s nice to have something, even something small, to smile about—and toast to—in a day full of general bummerdom. In the interim, best wishes and glasses raised to the folks at the Times-Pic, past, present and future.