Friday, April 17, 2009

Where We're Going, Part Deux

Editor & Publisher, the publication many, many newspaper people have read closely for decades, has some important, though hardly surprising, news today: employment in newsrooms is down 11.3 percent (some 5,900 jobs) in 2008, according to the American Society of News Editors. It's the largest drop in the history of the survey, dating back 30 years. My guess is it won't be the last such drop, but it is significant, since papers dropped 2,400 jobs in 2007.

On the upside is this: online journalism is up a startling 21 percent, with 2,300 individual journalists claiming online only status (see the post below for an excellent example locally). ANSE President Charlotte Hall is quoted as saying, "The loss of journalists is a loss for democracy." Probably so, but I'm not so sure we're losing journalists. We're simply losing newspaper jobs at many of the 1,400 dailies in the country.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post reports that North America's largest manufacturer of newsprint, Canada-based AbitibiBowater, has filed for bankruptcy.

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