The following is a copy of the e-mail I recently sent every person on the editorial staff of the Rocky Mountain News on the day of its final edition. Click here to read the results of the survey. I think you'll also find it worthwhile to read comments from managers, content originators and editors/in-house staff. I plan to send out the same survey at the one-year mark. I believe it's worthwhile to learn what the economic downturn and the shriveling/death of some American newspapers means to the people who've lost their jobs - and what better place to examine that story than the Rocky, the first major newspaper to close in 2009?
Dear former colleagues:
Today is the six month anniversary of the day we produced the final edition of the Rocky Mountain News. I hope you are all doing well. I've been wondering what's happened to many of you and I think there are many in the industry and outside who would be interested in knowing what's become of the people who lost their jobs at the Rocky. So I'd like to ask your help with a quick survey I'm doing for my blog. I'd appreciate it if you could respond to the following few questions and send your answers back to me as soon as possible. It should just take a few secs. I'd like to post the results on my blog, www.johntemple.net, next week. I hope to do the same at the one-year mark. Thanks for your help with this.
Again, my best to all.
1. What are you doing today? (If a new job, please say what it is. In journalism? Outside?)
a) a new full-time job
b) a new part-time job
c) freelancing/started your own business
d) going to school
e) collecting unemployment
2. If you are working, would you say what you're doing is:
a) better than your job at the Rocky
b) about the same
3. If you are working, are you earning:
a) more than you made at the Rocky
b) the same
4. What department were you in at the Rocky?
5. Were you in the bargaining unit or management?
6. Do you have any comments you'd like to share about your experience post-Rocky Mountain News?