The Akron Beacon Journal newsroom is in transition.

Earlier this year, GateHouse Media began a thoughtful process of identifying our core audiences, discerning the topics that are most important to our readers and structuring newsrooms to best cover those topics.

This initiative ensures we are focusing precious local resources on the most impactful topics and stories.

That became even more important this week as we lost colleagues to layoffs resulting from the significant financial pressures on the newspaper industry. We’re addressing those pressures both with belt-tightening and strategic reinvestment in investigative and data-driven enterprise reporting.

We are saddened by the loss of our colleagues and friends — good people who dedicated themselves to keeping you informed.

In the past several years, we have managed newsroom budget reductions by pushing wire services and other vendors to cut their rates, being more frugal with expenses, and through attrition. We constantly re-evaluate priorities and ask ourselves how we should adjust assignments based on factors such as changes in news-consumption habits or our own staffing.

We also work daily with our nine sister GateHouse Media Ohio newsrooms to make sure we are not duplicating efforts but collaborating to maximize our impact in Ohio.

This newspaper and all GateHouse Ohio newsrooms remain committed to keeping you informed with reliable, accurate, enterprising community journalism.

As GateHouse Media CEO Kirk Davis said in a memo to employees on Friday, the company with more than 156 daily newspapers in 39 states is building “a national investigative and data-driven reporting team of more than 30 talented editors and reporters with track records of award-winning, high-impact journalism. The team will be embedded in newsrooms which will add considerably to our local efforts.”

We have done our best to minimize the effects of financial pressures on our product. Perhaps we have done that too well, because, surprisingly, a Pew Research Center survey late last year found that few people seem to know about the financial struggles affecting local news operations, chief among the causes of stress being that mainstays of newspaper financial support — retailers and retail advertising — also have been disrupted by digital competitors.

“Even amid declining revenues and staffing, about 7 in 10 Americans (71 percent) think their local news outlets are doing very or somewhat well financially,” Pew reported. “When it comes to their own financial support of the industry, just 14 percent of American adults say they have paid for local news in the past year, either through subscription, donation or membership.”

And yet, overall, Americans evaluate their local media fairly positively.

“Majorities approve of the job their local news providers are doing across seven core job functions, such as covering news thoroughly,” Pew reported. “And 30 percent of Americans are very confident that their main news source can get them the information they need, with another 52 percent saying they are somewhat confident.”

The survey of 34,897 U.S. adults was conducted Oct. 15 to Nov. 8, 2018.

We appreciate that you and our advertisers are willing to pay for local news. We regret that it has not been enough to avoid the most recent belt-tightening, and we hope that more people will join you in realizing that the vast majority of reliable, verified, accurate news online comes from newsrooms such as this one — and that it’s worth supporting with a subscription.