Tuesday, 12 February 2008

American journalists fear for their jobs

With unprecedented job cuts in the American news industry a worrying report shows widespread concern for the future of journalism in the USA.

Job losses, falling ad revenues, tumbling share prices and a constantly depleting readership or audience – things aren’t looking good for the traditional news providers across the Atlantic.

This article for the Press Gazette reports that 43 percent of the 1,000 or so professional journalists interviewed say they have little confidence they will be working for a newspaper in five years. 30 percent said they were not sure.

Perhaps the most worrying line in the article is this one:
“More than half reported their readership or audience has shrunk more than 60 per cent over the past five years . Asked if they thought the trend might change and perhaps stabilize, about three-quarters replied pessimistically: 'It's hard to say it ever will.' ”

This is not a rant about how newpspapers are going down and everybody should get onboard to the ‘digital revelotion’ because first of all I like newspapers and don’t want to see any go under.

But secondly, and most importantly; at the present time most online newspapers and newspaper websites rely heavily on the readership of their print product – both for driving web traffic and revenue.

In the UK we are not at the stage yet when a newspaper group can survive solely on their online advertising revenues – far from it.

Also if readers are turned off from traditional newspapers written by professional journalists, why would they go to the same product but online?

However, we are not America and it is not set in stone that we are going to follow them down the road to such a, potentially, newspaperless future.

So what’s the solution?

Well, there certainly isn’t any simple solution, but looking at our industry wide slump in readership it’s pretty obvious we’ve got a lot of work to do.

Read the original article here:


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