By Tom Blumer | for Watchdog.org
Last week, just before converting to a four-day home delivery schedule, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reduced its newsroom staff by “about one-third,” telling “about 45 reporters, photographers, designers, editors and clerks … that they no longer had jobs.”
It is far from coincidental to the Plain Dealer’s transformation into a mere shell of its former self that the city of Cleveland, other than Detroit, has during the past six decades arguably been the nation’s most consistently troubled large city.
The city’s population in 2010 was only 397,000, making it the 45th-largest city in theU.S. That’s a 57 percent decline from 1950, when it was the nation’s seventh-largest, and a shocking 17 percent lower than just a decade earlier. By mid-2012, just two years later, another 5,900 Cleveland residents had voted with their feet — to become former Cleveland residents.
To the city’s credit, its financial footing seems to have improved. But it still faces a horrible reputation problem caused by several high-profile crimes; an extraordinary number of homes either in foreclosure, abandoned, or both; a general crime problem which makes it the 10th most dangerous city in the U.S.; awful, scandal-plagued schools; and a household poverty rate of over one-third.