Life as a newspaper journalist is a crushing series of indignities ending only with your final layoff from the last print newsroom within a hundred miles of your (foreclosed) condo. For California's Pulitzer-winning daily the Press-Enterprise, today's comically tragic news is that the paper's headquarters is being sold off for $30 million, with the remaining employees destined to be shuffled over to some leased office space in Riverside.
There are two notable structures in Riverside: the Press-Enterprise building and the Mission Inn, a Moroccan-Spanish Colonial Revival monstrosity where Richard Nixon married his beloved Pat. The P-E building is not architecturally notable, it's just one of the few tallish buildings in the Inland Empire and it's got big words on the top of it. Plus, it's across the block from the main government building in Riverside, the U.S. bankruptcy court, so these remaining reporters will be seeing their former workplace constantly, on the way back to some subleased office space behind a "Curves" franchise, probably. The newspaper's current owner, A.H. Belo Corp. of Dallas, is selling the five-story building to the Riverside County government, because why have any private businesses at all in a dreary downtown of mile-wide empty streets and bankruptcy courthouses? The newspaper building will join Riverside County's collection of 60 buildings in the Riverside area, "including the County Administrative Center, the Robert Presley Detention Center, courthouses and the former district attorney’s headquarters on Main Street, which is being refurbished to house the public defender's office." It is like making a Sim City where the whole town is just jails and jail-related buildings. (Riverside is also terribly smoggy and still has a 10.5% unemployment rate.)
But the Press-Enterprise staffers continue to do their journalism, and continue to enter the regional newspaper contests. Look how many awards they just won, yesterday:
"The Press-Enterprise won 24 awards, including three first-place honors, in the California Newspaper Publishers Association’s 2012 Better Newspaper Contest," the newspaper's own employees wrote about themselves in today's issue. And why not? Everyone deserves a moment of pride for a Job Well Done before being kicked in the mouth again, minutes later, on the same day.