Normally, we wait to print letters to editor in our actual print edition, but the letter we received today by Miami-Dade County teacher Paul A. Moore concerning the recent layoffs at the Miami Herald and its possible closure brings up a lot of good points that we just couldn't wait until then to share it with you:
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The death of a big city newspaper is the only way to describe McClatchy's newest cuts at the Miami Herald. One hundred seventy five people lose their jobs. The small remaining work force will take pay cuts of between 5% and 10%. Everyone will take an enforced one week unpaid furlough. It doesn't take a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing, The Miami Herald in print will soon disappear from the streets of Miami-Dade.
I bumped into Pulitzer Prize winning photographer Carl Juste the other day and unprompted by anyone he a got right to the heart of the matter with a question. "Why must a newspaper, part of the backbone of our democracy, be forced to make a profit?"
Of course The Miami Herald shilled for the corporations, the developers, the builders and the politicians that those wealthy interests control and those business interests have now destroyed the paper and the jobs it provided. But that's not all we will lose. From now on this community will have to function without the only media with resources capable of uncovering the vast and pervasive corruption loose in our government today. The corporations will now tighten their grip on that government.
As a teacher I'm struck by the irony that the Herald has been boosting the threat to shut down Miami-Dade inner-city public schools like Central, Edison, Holmes, and Liberty City this FCAT week. The irony is the same corporate forces have been attacking our newspapers and our public schools, both pillars of our nation's democratic heritage and impediments to their absolute rule. Sadly, too few public school workers and newspaper people saw in time how inextricably our fates were linked.
Paul A. Moore