LAT

Bad tidings for LAT refugees

This won't come as good news for the Los Angeles Times staffers who are worried about losing their jobs in the coming cutbacks. The ex-staffers behind The Journalism Shop did an informal survey of 75 recently departed newsroom employees and say they "continue to struggle with severe underemployment, soon-to-expire unemployment benefits and worries about retirement."

About two-thirds of the respondents describe their families as now on "sound footing," but there is this sobering side:

More than two-thirds are still receiving unemployment checks, though 68 percent expect those benefits to expire within 30 weeks of when the survey was taken in mid-November. The loss of benefits are despite the 14-20 week-extension recently signed by President Barack Obama....

Four out of five of the respondents reported earning half – or less – of what they were paid at the Times. Thirteen percent of the respondents reported zero income.

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Only 11 of the 75 respondents reported landing jobs. Nearly 40 percent of the members are working freelance jobs only, and 28 percent are not working at all.

The Times' recent hiring of younger, lower-paid reporters is not popular in this group, as you would imagine. "It was extremely dismaying to me to hear of a younger reporter being hired after some 70 layoffs occurred this past spring,” wrote one female respondent.


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