Even the nation’s largest newspapers aren’t immune to newsroom layoffs: earlier this year the Wall Street Journal announced it would cut 48 jobs as part of changes to its print edition.
But that’s a drop in the bucket compared to the losses taking place in the industry overall. In fact, newsroom jobs at daily newspapers across the country have declined by more than half from their high point in 1990, according to Ken Doctor, the president of Newsonomics.
And it’s only getting worse. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that newspaper reporter positions will decline by 28 percent and editor positions by 34 percent between 2014 and 2024.
This is bad news for newspapers, but it doesn’t have to be bad news for journalism.
Online and non-profit journalism are on the rise, as any follower of the Franklin Center knows. Our website Watchdog.org is proving that digital investigative journalism has an important role to play in the future of media.
In fact, the Franklin Center is teaming up with traditional media outlets to help spread the truth about government mismanagement and overreach. Newspapers are valuable community institutions that millions of Americans still depend upon for their news, and that’s why we make all of our stories available for free to any news organization who wants to run our work. We know that every daily or weekly newspaper can’t afford to hire an investigative reporter or keep tabs on the state capital. But we can, and we hope to fill the void.
When columnists bemoan the decline of print journalism, the biggest concern is there won’t be enough journalists informing the public about important issues. This doesn’t need to be the case. By partnering with newspapers and broadcast outlets large and small, we are doing our part to ensure the public is informed about their government, whether they get their news in print or online.