Sunday, December 13, 2009

When will the aftershocks end?

Every day seems to bring a new jolt:
  • Some big bylines are included among the 74 newsroom workers who opt to take a buyout at the New York Times -- and on the Metro Desk alone that adds up to more than 80 years of experience.
  • Nielsen Co. decides to close the venerable Editor & Publisher -- long a news and jobs bible for journalists -- as it sells off a handful of trade publications.
  • The Knight Center for Specialized Journalism at the University of Maryland, which has offered free, multi-day training for journalists for more than two decades, will be shuttered at month's end. (Disclosure: I've been a "fellow" there twice.) The website said grants from long-time funder the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation were not renewed. 
It feels as if the earthquake that has shaken the newspaper industry continues to send out powerful aftershocks. Just as you thought you'd regained your footing, another tremor comes through.

And it likely won't get better, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, part of the U.S. Department of Labor.

The agency's Occupational Outlook Handbook 2008-09 Edition offers this pdf update on job projections in the category "news analysts, reporters and correspondents": whereas employment by newspaper publishers stood at about 33,000 in 2008, jobs likely will fall to 25,500 by 2018, down 22.72 percent.

Earlier, the projection was for growth in this jobs category of about 2 percent between 2006 and 2016.

I wonder how much worse the 2009-to-2019 outlook may be.

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