And the article didn’t note the bitter irony that currently befalls Journal employees. While dozens go to work apparently knowing their days are numbered (Hill says numerous employees were told by the news owners they’d be staying, only to receive letters informing them of early-2015 termination dates), they may be writing, reporting, copy-editing, or laying out stories like “RI Wages Flatlining as Workers Struggle” and “Rhode Island’s Middle Class Loses Ground As Rich Get Richer, Poor Get Poorer” for the Journal’s ongoing “Middle Class Squeeze” series.
The Phoenix reached out to Bernie Szachara for a comment on the current situation, but he declined to add anything beyond his previous Journal quote. And executive editor Karen Bordeleau didn’t respond to our email and phone inquiries.
That said, Bordeleau’s comments in a September 28 Journal article previewing the paper’s October 2 “What’s Happening to Rhode Island’s Middle Class?” forum at Rhode Island College are worth reprinting here.
“As Rhode Islanders, we are not only witnessing the contraction of the middle class, we are experiencing it,” she told writer G. Wayne Miller, one of many Journal reporters who marched in the picket. “The middle class is the supporting structure of our economy. If we don’t find a way to keep it standing, everything else will come crashing down.”