The Illinois Times reported State Journal-Register Editor Angie Muhs was escorted out of the building by the paper's general manager after she submitted her resignation. The Times reported the paper's entire newsroom staff accompanied them to demonstrate support for Muhs, who resigned after five years in Springfield.
Muhs reportedly told her staff that she was leaving partly in hopes of avoiding more layoffs at the paper, which has seen its staff size shrink drastically in recent years.
Shop Talk panelist Will Buss said he was encouraged by the show of solidarity. Buss said Muhs met a lot of challenges during her time at the State Journal-Register. He said she earned recognition from GateHouse for her leadership and accomplishments, so he questioned why it would try to hamper her efforts by making further cuts.
Panelist Patrick Johnson is concerned about media companies such as GateHouse that are putting profits ahead of journalism. He said journalists continue to lose jobs in the U.S., especially in the newspaper industry.
Panelist Rich Egger said GateHouse could have rewarded Muhs for her fine work but instead top executives probably rewarded themselves with more bonuses. He would like to see GateHouse invest in the communities it claims to serve instead of investing only in its bottom line.
Shop Talk is a weekly panel discussion about journalism issues. This week’s program featured Will Buss, who teaches in the Department of Broadcasting and Journalism at Western Illinois University and advises the student editors at the Western Courier; Patrick Johnson, who teaches in the Department of Broadcasting and Journalism at WIU and advises Western’s student radio station WIUS/The Dog; and TSPR News Director Rich Egger.