The Future of Print

The State of Newspapers? Think of Sand Falling in an Hourglass, Pew Report Says

Posted in Doom by futureofprint on March 15, 2010

NEW YORK Newspaper advertising revenue plunged an astounding 45% over the last three years forcing publishers to make drastic reductions to the actual size of the print edition, to the space devoted to news to the ranks of employees.

Those findings are the latest from the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism State of the News Media 2010 report that starkly quantifies the affects of a nasty recession and the sweeping structural changes faced by media organizations.”

For newspapers, which still provide the largest share of reportorial journalism in the United Sates, the metaphor that comes to mind is sand in an hourglass,” stated the report.

The shrinking top and bottom line over the last three years resulted in loss of 15,000 full-time reporting and editing jobs falling to about 40,000 wrote Rick Edmonds of the Poynter Institute who authored the report’s newspaper chapter. ”

That means newsrooms have shrunk by 27% in three years,” he wrote.Edmonds, along with PEJ, estimated that the newspaper industry lost $1.6 billion in annual reporting and editing capacity since 2000. Yet newly launched news organizations and citizen journalism efforts aren’t necessarily picking up the slack. The J-Lab project headed by Jan Schaffer found that only $141 million of non profit money has flowed to upstart media projects not including broadcast – one-tenth of the losses in newspaper resources alone, the report noted.Despite the flourishing of new media organizations the report gets to the heart of the problem: cost effective technology has yet to translate into dollars. ”

Unless some system of financing the production of content is developed, it is difficult to see how reportorial journalism will not continue to shrink, regardless of the potential tools offered by technology,” said the report.

via The State of Newspapers? Think of Sand Falling in an Hourglass, Pew Report Says.

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