PAULINE’S PICKS: San Jose ‘Mercury News’ Designer Photographs The Look of Layoffs

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By: Pauline Millard

Layoffs and buyouts are becoming a fact of life in newsrooms these days, and The San Jose Mercury News has seen lots of people lose their jobs. As common as this is becoming, to people outside the office, it’s just a headline, maybe a story. There are usually few visual elements that go along with it.

Mercury News designer Martin Gee was distressed by the emptiness he was seeing around the office, and so he starting taking pictures of it all. Like any shutterbug these days, he put the photos up on Flickr, and as is the spirit of Flickr, a photo sharing site, his set, called “Reduction In Force” soon caught the attention of bloggers.

Photo District News, a magazine owned by E&P’s parent company, Nielsen, interviewed Gee and put together an audio slideshow of some of his shots. One of the most telling images is the newsroom job board, which is devoid of any job posts.

On a personal note, this is my last day as online editor at E&P. I hope you’ve enjoyed my Picks over the past year, and I hope they’ve inspired you to try some new things.


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