My days as a full-time religion reporter are over. For now.
You may have heard that the newspaper business is hurting, big time. We’ve seen massive cutbacks across the industry for years and the demise of several newspapers.
Here at LoHud/The Journal News, the news staff has been shrinking for some time.
The week before last, we lost more than 40 reporters and editors. The NYT even wrote about a major reorganization here.
I was fortunate to be “rehired.” But some beats had to go. Religion was one of them.
Newspapers across the country have been eliminating their religion beats. It seems that religion is seen as a “soft news” beat and a luxury at a time when newspapers are emphasizing breaking news on their Websites.
Clearly, I think religion news is important in many ways — and that the beat is perhaps the most interesting in journalism. I’ve written about this many times.
But these are tough times for everyone and the newspaper industry is going through a brutal transition period. No one knows what the news media might look like, say, a decade from now.
So I am now a general assignments reporter — as I was before I started covering religion in March 1997.
I’ll cover some religion stories, for sure. But I’ll spend most of my time reporting and writing on other subjects.
As far as this blog goes, I hope to continue writing it.
But I won’t post 3 or 4 times a day, as I have done for the past three years. I’m thinking one post a day — and we’ll see where things go.
Change is tough, especially when I’ve loved (mostly) covering the God Beat. But I’ll continue to look out for the big stories and trends and I’ll try to note some of them here.
Thanks for reading.