You’re at a journalism conference
a few years back,
a welcome bit of professional development
that's become increasingly rare
in a time of budgetary leanness,
a rote exercise
whose attendance was padded
by college students, deep discounts
and last-minute appeals.
A speaker said,
look to your left and to your right.
The number of working reporters
has shrunk by a third over the last decade.
Only two-thirds of you are left.
After the last round of layoffs,
another slash of the scalpel
that seems unsustainable,
that seems to bleed off too much,
you notice all the empty desks,
all the absent computers,
how sparse the parking lot looks.
— The End —