There goes newspapers.

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?

One thought on “There goes newspapers.

  1. I used to be a reporter for a small news service in the United States before coming to Japan, and have (slowly) made my way into making a living by doing Japanese to English translation, with interpreting assignments thrown in here and there. The transition was not an easy one, as I enjoyed my old line of work (but not the salary!)

    Recently I was an interpreter for another reporter working for a business newspaper. One of the conditions for him to get paid was for him to sell advertising to the people he was writing about!

    Who knows where things will go from here. I’m glad I made the transition and was able to get something out of my experience, but it makes me wonder for the future…especially where advertising money is concerned.

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