The Philadelphia Inquirer used to have foreign bureaus in Beijing, Delhi, Tel Aviv, Rome and London. Today it has none.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

“It’s been a gradual attrition over time. When I came here, there were 600 people in the newsroom. The Inquirer’s old owners were making loads of money, but they weren’t happy with the profit margin. They wanted to have a 15-percent margin or an 18-percent margin. The most expensive thing for a newspaper is people; we have 200 now.

“If you have fewer people, you’re going to have fewer scoops. Newspaper reporters here are under pressure to produce more than they did before. It’s expected that you have a story a day, if not three or four per week. We have to fill a paper. Unless you’re at a big paper like the New York Times, you depend on wire copy. A lot of companies and police departments release their announcements on Facebook, too. You write a story off their Facebook press release. I had to have my inbox expanded to four times the average allowable limit because we got so many press releases.

“I still think we put out a damn good newspaper. But the new owners say they’re losing money and they want to make more cuts – either in pay or in staff. So people are being invited to sign up for a 20-percent pay cut. They say that if they can’t come to an agreement with all the unions by this Friday, they’re going to liquidate.”

Joseph Gambardello, Breaking News Desk editor, Inquirer.com