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Archive for September 14, 2017

Sept. 14, 2017 — The lessening of a craft

The last ten years or so has seen the retirements of a number of legends of the field hockey pitch from the coaching box.

But equally distressing is the number of sportswriters covering field hockey who no longer have work. Some have been eased into editorships, others moved to other departments of what is left of the paper, and others let go altogether.

In suburban Philadelphia, along the rail line from Center City to Trenton, there are two newspapers which used to be owned by Calkins Media, and are now owned by GateHouse Media, a concern based overseas.

Five days ago, the newspaper announced drastic job cuts. And amongst them were a pair of field hockey writers who are not only married to each other, they have an 11-year-old special needs child.

This is a child who requires almost constant care, and has to go to a special school in Philadelphia. Sometimes, if a required nurse does not make it into work one day, one of the two parents is required to accompany the child to school.

So, imagine if, suddenly, the two incomes needed to give this youngster a semblance of a family life were zeroed out.

Imagine if the job cuts also saw the end of the family’s health insurance coverage.

And what if, after decades of service, your severance is less than two weeks’ salary.

Just like that. Poof.

My journalistic colleagues are proud people, and not a family of means. And the last thing they would want is a handout.

But this is a situation where you have people in board rooms across the sea making devastating decisions about people’s lives without even getting to know what their impacts mean on these lives.

It’s just rotten.