BY ARNOLD HAMILTON
The Tulsa World’s layoffs are bad news for Oklahoma journalism – and even worse news for civic discourse and understanding.
Among the 26 newsroom personnel getting pink slips were two of the World’s three Capitol bureau reporters: Mick Hinton and Tom Lindley. Only Bureau Chief Barbara Hoberock survived Bloody Tuesday.
Hinton had been with the World four years [after a long career with the Daily Oklahoman]. Lindley came aboard in August, when Angel Riggs decided to pursue her PhD.
Both were providing excellent coverage at a time when Oklahoma faces enormous challenges: There’s a looming $309.6 million budget shortfall. Prisons are overcrowded and crumbling. State roads and bridges need at least $1 billion in improvements. Six-hundred-thousand residents don’t have health insurance.
Need I continue?
More context: Hinton’s and Lindley’s departures from the Capitol Press Room come just months after the Oklahoman pushed one of the state’s finest political journalists, John Greiner, into retirement.
At a time when Oklahomans’ need-to-know has never been greater, they won’t have the benefit of turning to these three excellent political journalists.
What a shame.