Former colleagues in my thoughts

When I was in college, studying to be a journalist, I was told that newspapers were dying. And I either didn’t believe it or didn’t have the foresight to see why that would matter to me and my future budding career.

I graduated, got my first job at a local newspaper, and it was there I discovered my love for graphic design. I thought I wanted to be a reporter – as I grew up writing, writing, writing. But the job was for a page designer/editor, so that’s what I did. And that’s what I very quickly learned I love.

I stayed with that company for seven years. I made countless friends that I still keep in touch with, and I learned so much about editing and design and how newspapers run. I learned what to do and what not to do. I made lots of mistakes and did lots of good. After 7 years, I came away from that career with several design awards (including Best of the Best front page design in the state of South Carolina!), a magazine that was my creation (a women’s magazine that I was the editor and creative director of. Absolutely loved it), and friends that I will never forget.

Which is partially why it’s been so hard to see these newspapers begin to self-destruct over the past few years. “My” newspaper included. And when they announced this week yet another round of changes at my old stomping ground, including layoffs of people I know, it broke my heart.

I don’t really know what to say. Many articles and warnings have been written to newspapers about how they needed to be ahead of the times in the wake of the online reporting explosion. I saw firsthand that the lack of willingness to change can leave a company – hell, an industry – in the dust. So I won’t go there.

There are some talented people out there looking for jobs, I know that much.