All the talk

Deadline for deciding on the buyout is looming. Oct. 1 is the last day to opt in here. Rumor has it the pace of visits to Mona Rowe’s office will accelerate over the next two days.

But the question of staying or going isn’t exclusive to us. The following is from a Sept. 22 column by Oregonian classical music critic David Stabler.

The Buyout: To stay or leave

Here in the newsroom, we’re still talking about The Buyout. You can’t get in the elevator, the bathroom or line up for coffee without someone asking if you’re taking it.

I don’t mean to make light. This is a sad, dispiriting time when many friends and colleagues are walking away, never to return to journalism. Some folks have exciting plans and can’t wait to launch them (books, web sites, teaching, buying that island in Oswego Lake), but the newsroom will not be the same without them.

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it.

Stabler goes on to wonder how all of those departures will affect coverage by the newspaper. One can’t help but wonder that here as well.

Some might argue that The Star-Ledger now has no choice but to make some radical decisions about what we cover and how we cover it. Some may say this forces the hard decisions that have been delayed or avoided to this point.

From my perspective it simply seems difficult to imagine how we will continue doing what we have always done without a significant portion of that staff. The bodies will be gone. The future will depend on how we deal with that.

We are all familiar with the mantra: Do more with less. We have been hearing it for years. Is this the time to try and do less with less? A more focused less, a less directed toward what we can do that is unique and compelling.

Anyone have any thoughts on where The Ledger should focus coverage in the future? Any thoughts on how to gauge the paper’s audience and how best to serve them? I’d love to hear some ideas.

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