Thursday, August 07, 2014

Gannett's Asheville editor is frank about the changes

With all the turmoil at Gannett this week, Columbia Journalism Review's Corey Hutchins has landed a rather frank interview with Joshua Awtry, editor overseeing the Asheville Citizen-Times in North Carolina and The Greenville News in South Carolina.

Among some of Awtry's lines:

  • "I will not hire a digital producer who doesn’t have a strong grasp of editing."
  • "The Carolinas will have a full-time beer reporter. Right now, both Asheville and Greenville have beer reporters in different fashions. Asheville has a reporter who does a lot of beer coverage but has to pick up other things too. In Greenville the beer reporter also covers the nuclear energy plant.
    "When layoffs have happened in the past, it was, 'This position is gone and we need you to do these jobs,' and peoples’ lives have gotten, I think, needlessly hectic. And this is a chance to set up reporters around really, really deep coverage areas. Having a reporter who covers beer and the nuclear energy industry, I don’t know which of those two halves he’s reporting on."
  • "The public has gotten so good at detecting when they’re being fed something."
That last line is refreshing -- and intriguing. There's no reason to believe Awtry is not being straightforward. On the other hand, Gannett's record can easily make one feel like a Missourian -- "Show me."

So we'll wait and see. But I'd recommend you read the interview.

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