Brian Fuller's blog on the media, marketing and content creation

Journalism jobs decline but #journalism itself?

Posted on | August 13, 2013 | No Comments

Journalism jobs are hard to come by these days, two decades into the collapse of advertising-based journalism model. That shouldn’t come as a big surprise.

Look at the journalism jobs trend infographic below and you’ll get a clearer picture. But I quibble with the mainstream hang-wringing over the decline of journalism jobs, and I especially have a problem with the infographic’s title. Traditional journalism isn’t dead; it’s alive and well and being taught in universities across America. Kids are filling lecture halls and roaming the streets doing undergrad projects even though their journalism parents sometimes shake their heads (yes, that would be me).

Journalism jobs, journalism evolution

What’s dead are traditional journalism jobs. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Journalism, like any other technology-driven business, evolves. Is there a newspaper typographer anywhere in America today taking home a paycheck? Didn’t think so.

The product of journalism–newspapers and magazines–once was produced by a lot of highly-specialized people because the amount of time needed to master each technology or craft was significant. Today technology has flattened the learning curve and helped consolidate once-specialized functions.

Who’s a journalist?

Steven Greenhut, writing in Reason, said:

“Newspapers and other large media organizations often publish good journalism, but they often publish bad journalism also. … We’re just as likely – sometimes more likely, based on recent events – to see great journalism practiced by nonprofessionals or by professionals who work for small or independent media as by those working for the major national media.”

We can moan about the good old days, but it’s just moaning. Let’s move on.

Traditional journalism transcends the technology: it’s a way to tell compelling stories, sourced properly, that inspire and inform. It’s happening in the remaining traditional outlets; it’s happening in new media; it’s happening in social media.

It’s happening.

Journalism jobs struggle with decline of traditional journalism outlets

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