"I just want everyone to know who Matthew LaPlante is... Matthew LaPlante isn't a journalist. He's out to hurt you... I believe this man is an ideologue who's out to hurt you, and he shouldn't be working in any major newspaper."
- Bill O'Reilly
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This is what the newspaper world looked like the year I decided to become a teacher.

The pins on this map mark the locations of newspapers that laid off staff members in 2009. At least 14,828 newspaper journalists lost their jobs that year — an average of 41 each day. And the year before had been even worse.

To be honest, I was fairly insulated from this phenomenon. I was a marquee reporter at The Salt Lake Tribune, coming off a year when I was named the state’s best newspaper reporter by the Utah chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, among other awards. My work that year on the factors leading to a mudslide that killed a woman andher two children in Logan, Utah, would later win the state’s highest honor forinvestigative reporting. The military-oriented website I’d started in Iraq, a few years earlier, had just won the region’s top honor for journalistic blogs.

Meanwhile, The Tribune was making money. Not as much as it once had, perhaps, but simply being in the black at that time was an accomplishment in itself.