Leave it to the New York Times to be do dramatic.
A few weeks ago, David Carr wrote an article chronicling the good old days of journalism. The piece talks about the end of the decade and how different the bid media companies were just 10 short years ago.
Here are some startling facts Carr has for you:
“employment in communications in New York had lost 60,000 jobs since 2000.”
“After 2000, jobs in traditional media industries declined at a rate of about 2.5 percent annually and then went into a dive in 2008 or so.”
Obviously the job setting in New York, and other big cities around the nation, has changed dramatically in the first decade of the 2000’s. But by now, those you still have a romanticized version of journalism (guilty as charged, I love All the Presidents Men) have changed their minds either about the profession in general or in what direction they will be taking it.
As my friend Kaitlyn Anness, a journalism student who is also the news editor for The Whit and had a blog called The Unpaid Intern, said about journalism:
“Now, more than ever, students need to market themselves. They need to become unique. They need to blog, to create media that has never been thought of. Students need to understand and play into the interactive world of digital journalism.”
While Carr’s dramatic depiction of the fall of the media is true and depressing to those in the journalism field, it is also a new challenge to those just breaking into the field and those who have to reinvent themselves.
Have you read John Nichols and Robert W. McChesney’s article at The Nation about How to Save Journalism? You should.
In it, they discuss different federal agencies and the work they have been doing in examining the problems in our nation’s newsrooms. Each agency has undergone investigations and have been discussing proposals that may help the newspaper industry. Within the next few weeks the FTC is going to hold hearings to figure out what they can do to eliminate the shrinking number of jobs there are at newspapers.
In the third paragraph the authors bring up a great point, one that I’m surprised and annoyed that no one else has brought up before.
the way the challenges facing journalism are being discussed, indeed the way the crisis itself is being framed, will make it tough for even the most sincere policy-makers to offer a viable answer to it.
The authors point to the language used in many of these conferences and how the entire industry is being framed as obsolete because of the internet.
The FTC’s conference is titled “How Will Journalism Survive the Internet Age?” FCC chair Julius Genachowski explains the crisis as the result of “game-changing new technologies as well as the economic downturn.” The assumption is clear: it’s the Internet that’s the problem. But just as MTV’s debut pronouncement that “Video Killed the Radio Star” proved to be dramatically overstated, so is the notion that journalism’s disintegration can be attributed to a brand-new digital revolution or even an old-fashioned economic meltdown.
Another interesting section chronicles the downfall of newspapers predating the surge in popularity of the internet. This hasn’t previously been discussed and really sheds some light on what has gone wrong.
If you aren’t as dorky as me (and really who is?) then you may not be aware of the AP Stylebook. A must have for all journalists, the stylebook comes out with a new edition each year and is the main source for usage, spelling, abbreviations, as well as other grammar/writing advice.
Along with the rest of journalism, the AP Stylebook is changing and adapting to become more aware of new and social media. The editors recently announced that they will be adding a new section of the book on new media and social media for the 2010 addition that will be released in June. Currently, the book has sections for business, sports as well as punctuation.
I’m interested to see what the AP will and will not include in the section. It will be interesting to see how current the section will be, and if in future issues current entries will have to be deleted because of obscurity.
Regardless, this is a big deal for the social media community, and geeks like me who can’t wait to purchase a new copy of the stylebook.