The Washington state newspaper bailout — a 40% tax cut for newspaper printers and publishers that Governor Christine Gregoire signed into law yesterday — will save about 15 reporter jobs, according to estimates.
Before passing the law, Washington legislators figured the bailout would save the state’s newspapers $8.1 million through 2015.
Assuming an average annual cost of $75,000 for a fully loaded reporter and that savings are reaped equally over seven years, then approximately 15 jobs could be saved if the publishers applied all the savings to payroll.
Besides the pathetically low number, you know what the worst of it is? Keeping those jobs doesn’t actually help those 15 journalists in the long-run. The bailout just keeps them from developing skills that would make them attractive to businesses in their industry and others that are actually growing and have a future.