Stop the presses.

Dear Ledger staffers, run for your lives! Head for the EXIT.


It’s over.

The recent announcement by Gatehouse that six more Ledger newsroom positions have been eliminated was not reported by The Ledger. The reduction brings the newsroom staff to 16, down from 99 at its peak in 2000. The losses include two Assistant Managing Editors, a Multimedia Editor, and a photographer who, while absolutely vital to news organization and delivery, are not reporters, the professional journalists who leave the building and move about in our communities to listen, learn, and … report.

There are nine of them listed on The Ledger’s website*.


For a county of more than 600,000 people, 13 cities, 3 towns, and 30 other communities. The Ledger hasn’t really covered the whole county since before Gatehouse bought it, but now not at all. Recently reported print circulation is 20,000. One copy for every 30 people. Or three precent of the population. Three.

This is the end. The only thing left is the burial.

Any suggestion that the wretched money mongers who own our community newspaper have any interest in news, newspapers, or our communities, is completely laughable while being hopelessly tragic.

Time to abandon ship, folks. Stop the paper. Cancel your subscription. Let go.

The internet, which is not actually a news platform, does provide a valuable delivery vehicle for actual news platforms that can be vetted, validated, and relied upon. Go online. Read them all. Collect the information you need. Distribute the truth you find. Share! Ask every “friend” to do the same. The more we work at this new model the better it, and we, will be.

The Associated Press is a not-for-profit news agency headquartered in New York City. Founded in 1846, it operates as a cooperative, unincorporated association. Its members are U.S. newspapers and broadcasters. Its Statement of News Values and Principles spells out its standards and practices. There’s an app for that. Also see: LkldNow. LAL Today. Lakeland Patch. Lakeland, FL Local.

Lean in. Discover. Learn. Know.

* The Ledger’s website list of newsroom staffers has aways been incomplete and/or incorrect, and currently still lists the employees who were laid off, and fails to list a reporter who has written byline stories for months.

E-mail the commissioners

But one at a time, please!


For the most part, when recipients open an email that includes others they are less inclined to take it personally. Make sure your message resonates by sending it to each commissioner separately.

Scott Franklin - Stephanie Madden -  Sara McCarley - Chad Mcleod

Bill Mutz - Bill Read - Phillip Walker

Each of these noble citizens represents all the rest of us. The four geographic designations - Northwest, Northeast, Southwest, and Southeast, etc. - apply only to the residency requirements for commissioners, not to their constituents. Bill Read, for instance, lives in the city's northeast quadrant and is likely to be more in tune with the businesses and neighborhoods in that area, but serves us all as our representative to the city management and staff.

It will always help to send your message to City Manager Shawn Sherouse  because it's his job to implement whatever projects, resolutions, and ordinances the Commission proposes in response to our communication.


State legislators representing Lakeland

Representative Colleen Burton

Senator Kelli Stargell