"Employment of full-time professional editorial staff peaked at 56,900 in 1989. By the end of 2011, the last year for which data are available, employment had fallen by 24%, according to the American Society of News Editors. When figures for 2012 are compiled, newsroom workforce will likely be below 40,000." —Of the many bits in this survey of the current American news business—the cable news audience is stalled forever at 1.9 million people! TIME's newsstand sales dropped 27% in a year!—the 24% drop in newspaper editorial employees is the most instructive for those of you young people thinking about a major. (Journalism is always a terrible major.)
Staffers and free-lancers at two West Coast alt-weeklies are nervously awaiting whatever unpleasant news comes with the sale of those papers to local conglomerates. Like all of the once-mighty urban weekly papers, the SF Weekly and Seattle Weekly are struggling to survive in a time when it's not at all clear what these kind of publications are supposed to do when all of their one-time informational and advertising monopolies—music and movie listings, sex personals, roommate ads, alternative news, restaurant reviews, anti-Republican ranting—have moved online.
"'Future of News' thinkers, who emerged only in the last few years, represent a new kind of public intellectual: journalism academics known for neither their journalism nor their scholarship. Yet, the fact is they are filling a void left by an intellectually exhausted journalism establishment, and filling it with crisp, readable—and voluminous—prose that offers to connect journalism to the technocratic vanguard…. To the extent that FON thinkers mau-mau the news business—that’s a good thing. The problem is that FON thinkers (but not Rosen, as we’ll see) sometimes let slip a light regard for journalism itself, that is to say, what journalists actually do." —Who's your boss paying to help [...]