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General state of the industry thread.

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by DanOregon, Aug 9, 2019.

  1. Bronco77

    Bronco77 Well-Known Member

    Good conversation, good perspectives. Interestingly, the young reporters at my newspaper (where the environment is stable for now because of retiree readership) don't seem to have much desire or ambition to move to the New York Times or Washington Post -- possibly because it's a huge leap from here to there and the stepping-stone jobs either are gone or don't offer much security. Most of those who leave are going into PR in the booming nearby metro areas or jobs with niche publications.
  2. It's not good.

    Most of the reporters I follow on Twitter are unionizing and are trying to put the pressure on their owners for fair contracts. The problem, of course, is journalism schools keep churning out thousands of good writers who don't mind working for $30,000.

    I managed to make it seven years in journalism without getting laid off. The most I made in any year was $32,000. Friends were laid off. Our company was sold. The last straw came when I had to cut short a dinner with my wife, my brother, and his wife to fill in for a reporter who didn't report to work. I wasn't getting paid enough to make any personal sacrifices. So off I went to the world of communications, where I now make twice what I did journalism. I'm also significantly more passionate about the work.

    I have a lot of friends still in journalism. Communications jobs in my area open all the time. They pay better than journalism jobs. They offer considerably more job security. And the hours are better.

    I usually get one of two responses: "I'm not ready to make that jump" or "I'm not qualified."
    Paul_Bowker and cake in the rain like this.
  3. swingline

    swingline Well-Known Member

    I've been out of newspapers since 2008. The most I made in one year was at a union shop in 2002 when I pulled in $50,000 at the top of the scale.

    Since '08 I've worked odd jobs — freelance magazine writer, Census in 2010, school crossing guard, writer for a military-related organization, freelancer, university communications writer focusing on engineering and computing, and current freelancer and ghost writer. Oh, and I scored essays for Pearson for a few months in the dark days of 2009.

    My J-school is still cranking out graduates, but almost all of them in my news-ed sequence are trained in social media, video and everything modern beyond just reporting. They still do good work, including exposing a local police chief who spent very little time actually on the job and who was at his favorite watering hold by 4:30 every afternoon. He's no longer police chief.

    I have no idea what the future holds for all these kids because there's only so many newspaper jobs, and most of them beyond the big three are shit. Freedom is dying in the dark wilderness of disappearing newspapers.
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
    OscarMadison likes this.
  4. Justin_Rice

    Justin_Rice Well-Known Member

    Just get out.

    Go back to school. Network to find a comms job. Do anything.

    Just get out before you're thrown out.
  5. BTExpress

    BTExpress Well-Known Member

    Nah. My exit is going to come with severance pay, dammit.
    Doc Holliday and Tweener like this.
  6. Justin_Rice

    Justin_Rice Well-Known Member

    I spent my last three years in the industry working basically my 40-60 hours weeks, and taking about 12 hours a semester. When I finally left, the vacation/sick-time payout served as a fine severance :)
  7. Raven

    Raven Active Member

    While I applaud you for making the decision to get out, I can't fathom working as a flack after dealing with them for so long.
    Tweener likes this.
  8. Raven

    Raven Active Member

    Who owns your paper?
  9. BTExpress

    BTExpress Well-Known Member

    McClatchy :eek:
  10. Sports Barf

    Sports Barf Active Member

    How very punk rock of you
  11. 3_Octave_Fart

    3_Octave_Fart Well-Known Member

    I am old enough to remember the longform writers saying that all the print journalists were pathetic dinosaurs.
    Then some of those verticals went tits-up (in record time) and some of those writers wound up back in print.
    I know better by this point than to guess where the business is going.
  12. Raven

    Raven Active Member

    Good luck.
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