Last week was a grim one for newspapers. The US press has suffered a series of body blows stemming from the recession and the consequent loss of advertising, the specific effects of sub-prime, (real estate ads), competition with other media, declining rates – you name it, it is there. Jobs are going, titles are at risk, and the industry itself will have to confront all of its demons. This summary in the Wrap is a good overview. As always, Jim Romenesko at Poynter is a good place to keep count, or Editor and Publisher, the industry’s trade mag, or in a graffik at Paper Cuts.
The industry in the US has decided to try to fight back. “Newspapers and their online offspring combined are more popular than ever imagined and yet media reports nearly always paint a portrait of an industry gasping for air in the digital age,” says an article on Editor and Publisher. They’ve created a Web site that will feature stories and commentary about the value of newspapers, and share tips on how they can cope with the tough times.
This doesn’t alter the fact that hundreds are losing their jobs. I will run a series of articles this week on life after journalism: Ten Uses for an Ex-Journalist. How can you change career? It is aimed at people thinking of moving on, engaged in that task, or who have completed it. It is only some eight years after taking the journey myself that I feel some perspective on the whole thing.