Online Photo Gallery Depicts Sad Life In Post-Layoff ‘Mercury News’

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By: Joe Strupp

Newspaper staffers facing layoffs and cutbacks all around them respond in different ways. For San Jose Mercury News Designer Martin Gee, his reaction was to post online a gallery of photos depicting life in the newsroom with empty desks, discarded phones and computers, and other remnants of his paper’s recent cutbacks. One image shows a bottle of Prozac.

Among the most emotional is an empty nameplate that Gee writes was used to represent Rich Ramirez, a former Mercury News staffer who committed suicide last year.

“The last round of layoffs and buyouts really hurt me. i mean, each one does but this one especially. This place feels like a morgue. an abusive relationship,” he writes with the gallery on Flickr now linked at the editorsweblog.org site. “Remnants everywhere. Empty cubicles. Empty chairs. Abandoned office equipment. goodbye emails. Besides looking for a new job and building a massive assemblage, this is a way for me to deal. There will be more photos…”

Gee’s posting and photos can be found via:

http://www.editorsweblog.org/analysis/2008/04/us_
journalist_photo_documents_impact_of.php

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