In the past 6 months or so, at least 4 experienced reporters have quit.
In addition to those, Investigations Editor Michael Sallah left to join the Washington Post. A veteran reporter and a veteran photographer retired after 42 years and 40 years of service respectively.
Just last week, business writer Elaine Walker announced she was leaving the paper to go to work for a law firm. A handful of other staffers have hinted at retirement plans.
And, according to Frank Alvarado at Miami New Times, "Scott Hiaasen, genius reporter and son of famed columnist Carl Hiaasen, is off to clerk for a judge. 'I haven't gotten a raise in ten years,' he says."
The common thread that connects all the recent departures is that none of the people who've left have been replaced. None. Zero.
Instead, Herald honchos have resorted to playing newsroom musical chairs and whack-a-mole to fill key assignments.
When education reporter Laura Isensee left last year to join a public radio station in Texas, David Smiley who had been covering Miami Beach, was moved to the education beat.
Several years ago, David Ovalle, who had been covering the police beat, was reassigned to cover courts. That left the newspaper that won its first Pulitzer in 1951 for crime coverage, without a full-time reporter covering the crime and cops beat.
To fill that gap, the Herald now copies and pastes crime stories from TV station websites...or, on some days, it just ignores crime stories altogether.
But, there is one bright spot.
If you're among the four or five people in Miami who believe it's never too soon for another page one story from the island nation of Haiti, there's reason to rejoice.
While the Herald skimps on crime coverage at a time when many of Miami's poor and not-so-poor neighborhoods have turned into outdoor shooting galleries; the paper always manages to find the resources to cover Haiti.
But, at least now they're being honest with readers about where their priorities lie. Take a look at this morning's front page.
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