Entry-level newspaper jobs are expected to grow slightly by 2016, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But thousands of jobs have been lost in newspapers since 2007.
Below are the estimated number of layoffs and buyouts in newspapers:
- 2007 – 2,293
- 2008 – 15,993
- 2009 – 14,825
- 2010 – 2,920
- 2011 – 4,190
- 2012 – 1,850 (through August)
Total – 42,071
Source: Paper Cuts
According to Baran’s Introduction to Mass Communication, “…newspapers are not dead” and “people are reading more news than ever before.” But newspapers are going through turmoil – a “disruptive transition,” as Baran describes it – as publishers cope with declining advertising revenue.
According to a 2011 report on American journalism:
…a consensus has emerged that website advertising, its rates driven down by massive available inventory, will probably never sustain a comprehensive daily news report. The clock continues to tick on finding strong supplementary revenue streams as print seems certain to stagnate or decline further.
Newspaper organizations continue to insist, as they have for several years now, that they are transforming themselves to take advantage of the digital future. But the path is hardly a well-marked four-lane highway, and the effort often seems comparable to chopping through the jungle with a machete.
Three notable developments in February 2011, according to the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism:
- Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. launched The Daily for Apple’s iPad. Staff: 100. Budget: At least $30 million.
- The Associated Press said it would create an independent News Licensing Group to try to make money from news content.
- AOL bought the Huffington Post for $315 million, more than double the price of the Philadelphia Inquirer in an April 2010 bankruptcy auction.
Newspaper circulation has been falling for 10 years. Among the reasons why:
- Convergence with the Internet
- Changes in newspaper readership
Still, five of 10 Americans read a newspaper every day, which equals a daily Super Bowl broadcast, Baran says.
Question for discussion:
What impact does the weakening of the newspaper industry have on the health of democratic government?