Hardest parting

After my last post I couldn’t help but go to this blog posting at Politckernj regarding the imminent “retirement” of two long-time Ledger political reporters, Robert Schwaneberg and Joe Donohue.

My point is not to single out those two for any special notice. Hey, the end is nigh (one way or t’other) for many Star-Ledger staffers. It was the comments that struck me.

Demand Results wrote: great reporters…and their absence from the scene only means that New Jerseyans will get even less information about state government. Not a great day for transparent government.

Republikyle wrote: Regardless of the editorial board’s opinions… it will be a sad day when the Ledger folds, and today is the beginning of the end with the loss of these two reporters.

Unlike the last commenter, I don’t know what the future holds for The Star-Ledger except that there will soon be a significant outflow of institutional knowledge, skilled writing, insightful reporting, visual excellence and editing acumen. Their bodies may be replaced — though that seems unlikely — but their journalistic excellence will be out these doors for good.

Such a loss is difficult to quantify in the short term. Perhaps the people of New Jersey will recognize it in the long run, especially if the Ledger (should it survive) doesn’t retool its reduced staff to properly cover the essentials of state/local government, high school sports and New Jersey news. But at this point we can only wait and see. Didn’t someone say that’s the hardest part.


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