Journalist turnover in Silver City

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(Updated in comments – Please see below)
With the recent news that Levi Hill would be leaving the Silver City Sun News, and Mary Alice Murphy’s shift to a part-time, freelance schedule at the Silver City Daily Press, came a realization: in the past four years, there’s been a 100-percent turnover for full-time, daily reporters in Silver City.

When I returned from Washington D.C. ((where I had interned with Sen. Jeff Bingaman for the summer)) in August, 2004, I took a position as news director for KNFT radio. My predecessor, Larry Behrens, had just taken a job as KOAT’s local reporter for the Silver City/Southwest New Mexico area. At the Sun News, Levi was working with Tom Baird and sports reporter Matt Miller. The Daily Press was employing Melissa St. Aude, Mary Alice Murphy, and Steven Siegfried, with Vince Kong on sports duty.

The lay of the land has changed completely. Every name listed above has moved on (or is moving on) with the exception of Mary Alice, whose role at the Daily Press has been reduced significantly. KNFT’s news operation was basically scrapped in 2006.

I think the changes have been gradual enough that there’s been no serious loss of institutional knowledge, the statistic is staggering in my mind. What happens to follow through on long-term stories? How does a news organization maintain relationships with the community when its most visible ambassadors are constantly changing?

What do you think? Has the turnover in reporters been good, bad, or a mixed bag?

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