John Curley Leaves the SF Chronicle

Happy Birthday John Curley

It was with a bit of sadness that I read John Curley’s note over on one of his Flickr photos about his departure from the San Francisco Chronicle.

For those of you who don’t know John personally, he’s a hell of a guy. I’ve enjoyed getting to know him over the course of the past few years through Flickr. He’s a great photographer and an even better person. John was the one responsible for getting the Flickr Picker feature into the Chronicle where the Chronicle would publish photos of Flickr users in print in their newspaper.

Curley last served as the Chronicle’s deputy managing editor. He’d worked for the paper for over 25 years.

From Curley:

“I leave with great sadness, but not a trace of bitterness. We all know what is happening to the newspaper industry, and it is not pretty.

Even though this is officially termed a “reduction in force,” I am surprised and dismayed that the organization thinks it can have a future without me. To be honest, I thought I’d get the chance to help lead the paper where it needed to go to compete successfully in the digital age. But instead, off I go.

Thirteen other newsroom managers are leaving along with me, including my boss, the managing editor, Robert Rosenthal. Shortly, union job cuts will begin. It had previously been announced that 100 of the 381 editorial jobs at the Chronicle will be eliminated at this time.

It’s a bad time for me, and a bad time for the paper, but most importantly, I think it’s a bad time for the democracy.”

As this thing called the internet continues it’s big push forward, sometimes we forget about how personal the casualties can be. While I have no doubt John will land on his feet and do some other great thing in this world, it is certainly sad at the same time to see someone so dedicated to the art, craft and science of journalism moving on.

You see the thing about journalists is that they are rarely in it for the money. They are in it for the experience. For the passion. To change the world. For truth and justice and things like that. And it’s a shame that so many of these types in our world are now finding themselves out of work.

I once thought I was going to be a journalist. I was heavily involved in journalism most of my college experience and was editor-in-chief of my college newspaper my senior year. It’s one of those things I regret never having followed up on like I should have.

Good luck John Curley my friend. I wish you well.

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