According to Mediapost, newspaper jobs shrank 40% in the last 10 years.
As an early blogger (2003), mostly putting out a “hyperlocal” blog, I know I probably wasn’t seen as any kind of threat to the Courier News or Messenger Gazette in my old hometown. Nor do I feel that most people realized how much of news reporting would move off print media, and onto television and the internet. Sure, the television had eaten into print news reporting for decades. But there was something solid and structured about having local print media organizations—even if much of their revenue was coming from the local car dealer and other big businesses. (These, in turn, had more weight about what got reported, ne?)
The editorial page is mostly gone. I can’t remember the last time I actually sat reading an editorial page. In fact, it’s one of the scary things about this new internet era: the opinion sharing has to be done over the internet, and the net is still it’s Wild West sort of place.
In the story of the demise of newspapers, what’s often left out is that they had an incredible margin built in. Now that advertising dollars are moving elsewhere, I suspect that a smaller print news industry is still making a bundle. However, how is local news, or community news (as is the Japan-side expat community case,) going to be reported? Who will fund it and who will provide it?
In an online world, who pays the reporters and how does news get found and delivered?