Daily Journal (California) Reviews | Glassdoor

Daily Journal (California) Reviews

Updated March 20, 2017
12 reviews

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1.9
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Daily Journal (California) President, CEO, CFO, Treasurer, Assistant Secretary, and Director Gerald L. Salzman
Gerald L. Salzman
4 Ratings

12 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    "Never, ever, ever work here"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Staff Writer
    Current Employee - Staff Writer
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Daily Journal (California) full-time

    Pros

    There are no pros to working here. It's a print newspaper that's about, oh, 15 years late to updating its business model. That's because the money isn't in their newspaper business; The company, I believe, earns its keep from bank stocks it bought during the economic crash, and from court document management software.

    So any opportunities that are supposedly created here are washed away by the fact that the Daily Journal does not care about your existence.

    Cons

    The top editor, of course. Newspapers are a shrinking business, Daily Journal included, and so the company has mandated for as long as I remember to cut costs. How does this happen? Turnover. How does turnover happen? Well...

    Basically the editor makes this place completely miserable to work. Expect to never be complimented for your work, ever. There are also no measurements of success, so one day you could be criticized for the quality of quotes you're getting, while the next it's because you're not pursuing certain stories, or pursuing others too much, or you said something that offended a source. This is niche publishing, so the audience and your sources are one and the same, and they buy the paper. Writing something they don't like, therefore --- and never mind if it's true, accurate, and fair reporting --- could get you chastised, berated, written up, even fired. The editor truly sees himself a dictator of his own little empire (by the way, editor, it's not one), so he'll go out of his way to make sure you know just how bad it is you were doing your job. The truth is, though, his wrath is not about your quality of work. He is a completely unstable person who is kept around because, as I said, his unprofessional actions keep costs down by pushing people to quit. (Which is a little funny, given how often they must expose themselves to lawsuits.)

    Also: NET NANNY IS REAL HERE. Seriously, say goodbye to Twitter, Facebook, and additionally, a bunch of really useful websites that have been blocked because the company's Internet filter decided you were dicking around online.

    Others have pointed out some okay things to consider: "decent pay" (if you consider living in Los Angeles or San Francisco for $35k-$40k decent... Uber drivers make more. So do interns at other reputable papers), steady hours, no weekend work, some health benefits, and an opportunity to write stories. Honestly you can get a lot of this working for a weekly or freelancing. The support that used to be here for feature writing or even decent editing is no longer around, and writers are forced to produce content in a newspaper style that is beginning to become extinct. I'm deadly serious that you'd probably get more satisfaction, pay, and career opportunities as a Starbucks barista.

    Advice to Management

    Stop working. If you're the kind of person who listens to that insane boss of yours, you're probably destroying the spirit of everyone under you at Daily Journal, and it would honestly be best if you didn't take this level of incompetence and pollute it at any other company, ever.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Graphic Design - not creative"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    Steady, simple work, nice employees

    Cons

    Very boring and complete lack of creativity. Not open to new ideas


  3. Helpful (5)

    "So glad I left this place behind."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Reporter in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Reporter in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at Daily Journal (California) full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Good resume builder for an inexperienced person just starting out.

    No late nights or weekends.

    Cons

    I agree with the other reviews posted here, which together paint a fairly accurate picture. Generally, the peer environment here is good, but the mood is often dominated by fear of the top editor's wrath, and people will sometimes step on one another to avoid it, mid-level editors included. Turnover is high here for one reason: him.

    He's so bad he's almost a cartoon villain, with the temerity of Elmer Fudd, the temperament of Yosemite Sam, and the tongue of Sylvester the Cat.

    Don't expect to be mentored, guided, or even supported here. There's not enough time, staff, or inclination. The Daily Journal is a sink or swim situation, and any learning that takes place happens through yelling after the fact rather than guidance before.

    If the top editor calls you into his office, other staffers look at you with wide-eyed pity, because it's automatically presumed to be a bad thing. He's infamous for a near-total lack of ability to say anything positive. In positive situations, he merely remains silent or walks away.

    The company I've moved on to treats me with decency and respect, which was a shock to my system after my time at the Daily Journal.

    Advice to Management

    Why write anything in this space? Management must be aware by now that the high turnover here is all because of the top editor, and they persist in doing nothing.


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  5. Helpful (3)

    "Reporter"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Daily Journal (California) full-time

    Pros

    Great group of reporters; good place to cut your teeth in journalism when you're fresh out of college. Fun holiday party.

    Cons

    Top management doesn't care much about keeping good talent. They are extremely slow to fix basic issues, like keeping updating the commuter system when the paper depends on it to publish on-time!

    Advice to Management

    Revamp your website, start showing more support for employees at all levels to try to curb the drastic turnover. Update your business model, because it is stuck in the dark ages.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Account Executive"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Quite a bit of flexibility is given to those in executive roles.

    Cons

    There was too big a difference between management and the other employees that led to feeling that it was not possible to move up the ladder. There were also limited positions for growth.

    Advice to Management

    Recognize the talent that is under your nose and make an attempt to make the employees feel valued.


  7. Helpful (6)

    "Only work here if you are desperate"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Reporter
    Former Employee - Reporter
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Daily Journal (California) full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Connections you will make with your sources and fellow reporters. Pay is a tad higher than some newsrooms.

    Cons

    If you have ever worked in another newsroom, you will not believe that this newsroom exists - seeped in negativity, lies, unethical behavior and the like.
    The top editor lies constantly and is verbally abusive, as other reviews attest to. He makes associate editors of 20-somethings with absolutely no editing experience and just a few years of reporting experience, so he can use them as puppets. These associate editors are so inexperienced that you have to edit and proofread every change they make, because they typically don't understand what you have written and proceed to change it and make mistakes with what you've written. When they send you proofs of the next day's paper, it's riddled with errors in the stories, the headlines, the decks, the captions, everything. Sometimes, they take umbrage when you correct them.
    The top editor fosters a culture of constant criticism, even when it's unwarranted. He's constantly looking for ways to tear reporters down. He lies in your annual review. And, if you call him out on it, he will retaliate. He makes decisions to run stories based on his own personal whims, capriciousness, prejudices and personal grudges, instead of on each story's merits.
    If you've ever worked in another newsroom, you will not believe how disrespectful the editors are toward the reporters.

    Advice to Management

    Replace the top editor ASAP. Make sure every associate editor has at least 5-10 years of reporting experience before making them an editor.


  8. Helpful (2)

    "Mom & Pop Feel For a Mid-sized Daily"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Editorial in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Editorial in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Daily Journal (California) full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Seems to mainly be a jump-off for graduate students to other journalism jobs. There is a core of savvy legal reporters.

    Cons

    Frequent turnover in positions including editors. Never seemed to be a coherent vision as to what the paper was trying to accomplish.

    Advice to Management

    Needs to differentiate itself with more of the insider legal vision readers expect from a law-focused daily newspaper. Requiring a graduate degree means the bulk of the newsroom is comprised of reporters inexperienced in covering the law and in reporting.


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Cost-cutting editor fostered an environment of negativity"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Legal Writer in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Legal Writer in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Daily Journal (California) full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    My job was essentially over by the print deadline so the rest of the day was surfing the web or reading books.

    Cons

    There were some very nice folks and some extremely petty nasty folks. Unfortunately, the petty nasty folks were the ones in charge.


  10. Helpful (3)

    "Huge setback in my journalism career"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Staff Writer in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Staff Writer in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Daily Journal (California) full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    -Intelligent writers that are probably overqualified for their positions.

    -A steady paycheck.

    -"Interesting" introduction into the world of legal community if a newbie.

    -Being able to have job experience at a daily publication is a rare opportunity these days.

    Cons

    -Former San Francisco editor who was removed and transferred to LA office was verbally abusive and laid off several employees in the three months that I was there.

    -Writers are encouraged to out-scoop the competition, unless the story you are working on involves a firm that is cozy with management or senior editors. In that case, you could lose your job.

    -SF office used "Barracuda" web filter to limit internet usage, so many news sources were inaccessible at work.

    Advice to Management

    -Do not allow editors to verbally abuse or belittle writers.

    -Do not expect writers to break stories if you are chastising them for writing about people you are chummy with.


  11. Helpful (4)

    "Good place to work but bad corporate management"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Writer in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Writer in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Daily Journal (California) full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    This is a good place for a young journalist to learn the business and learn to write with precision and accuracy. It provides a good stepping stone for a journalism career.

    Cons

    Some of the editors can be overbearing and unreasonable. The publisher is a tightwad and is always looking for ways to cut costs without regard to the quality of his publications.

    Advice to Management

    Editors need to teach a team approach rather than managing by terror. The publisher is set in his ways and needs to retire.


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