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less jobs, more jobs, what's the future?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by sprtswrtr10, Jul 29, 2008.

  1. sprtswrtr10

    sprtswrtr10 Member

    For those who know me, well, then you know me.
    Anyway, I'm the sports editor at The Norman Transcript.

    I think we do a good job. We try to compete with four people against the Oklahoman.
    I've been at The Transcript for a very long time and know all the guys at the big paper and one conversation I had with one of them a few months back still has me thinking.

    Basically, I was asking, in these tough times for newspapers, what's the future?

    If newspapers aren't viable long term, or are only in some reduced state they appear to be shrinking toward, where will the jobs be, if anywhere? I, for one, believe people still want to read about sports. I still think they want good stories, good columns, good notes, good information, etc. I mean, where will sports radio get its topics? Even now, my assessment of the situation isn't that circulation is diving any more than it has over the past 10 years or so, but that the old revenue model for newspapers doesn't apply any longer AND gas and newsprint prices have soared. So, where are the jobs and where will they be?

    Well, here's one thing realized in the months-ago discussion. In our market, with SCOUT, RIVALS and ESPN all trying to develop premium University of Oklahoma Internet coverage (and seemingly doing a decent job at finding a market for it), there's never been so many people covering the Sooners, ever. In fact, there's never been so many sports writing jobs available. The pay may not be that good, but it's never been.

    Also, continuing the discussion, will there be more?

    Will WWLS, the Sports Animal, want to hire at least one legitimate sports writer to develop its Web presence further? Will the network affiliates do the same for their Web sites? Will even more people need or want writers?

    I'm just wondering about the future?

    What does anybody think?
  2. Sam Craig

    Sam Craig Member

    I think there's a simple reason why no one has responded to your post yet.

    No one really the hell knows. ???
  3. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    One thing I've wondered about, and, (crossthreading with the hyperlocal thread), is that with the emphasis on hyperlocal, will there be less people inclined to go into sports journalism if there is little to no chance of covering big time sports and events?

    If a prospective sports journalist finds out that the most he/she will ever cover is Little Johnny's Little League game, will they go into another line of work? And will the reduction in journalists ever get ahead of the number of jobs?

    These are some questions I've been wondering about.
  4. WriteThinking

    WriteThinking Well-Known Member

    There will be more jobs, and more potential jobs. But there will be less people, in general, to do them.

    More jobs will come from all the many web sites, blogs, video operations, whatever other electronic outlets there are that are bound to come up in the fragmented media world. And there will still be whatever print journalism jobs survive, as well.

    But there will be fewer people to fill the jobs as a result of both the conscious decisions by companies trying to streamline and economize their organizations, and the lesser need for certain other related-area jobs having to do with presses and delivery, and perhaps, even advertising, with the way things are going.

    And then, there is the actual enactment of the "do more with less" approach.

    Sure, more web duties, more graphics responsibilities, new video journalism avenues and more need for visual journalists, etc. all are touted as more, and different ways of story-telling and information dissemination.

    But it all also adds up to just more work. This is extreme multi-tasking, and it will be expected, at least for the foreseeable future, from those same people who used to just report/write for their newspapers.

    There already are fewer of those now, just because of the ongoing exodus of people who are being dumped in companies' efforts to be more financially profitable and efficient.

    And if ever the dark day comes when all, or most, media outlets cut their newspapers down either to non-daily operations, or else, cease those operations entirely, there will be that many less people working in the field.
  5. txsportsscribe

    txsportsscribe Active Member

  6. SlickWillie71

    SlickWillie71 Member

    I don't think there's a good answer yet. At this point, I think we're only seeing the outer edge of a storm that -- when it finally makes landfall -- is going to blow away the newspaper industry damn near to hell. It's hard for me to talk with potential sports journalists because, hell, I go into the office each day with the uncertainty that I may not leave with my job.

    Most majors are beginning to go with the "more with less" approach.....all that does is invite burnout and early exits. As more majors begin to start whacking some of their high end writers, the demand for more with less is only going to increase.

    At this point, all I can say is search your soul and figure out if this is worth it. I love this field, but with the changes going on, I also realize that my well-being and sanity matters a damn to the bean counters.
  7. TheMethod

    TheMethod Member

    To piggyback on W-T's post, if the number of sportswriting jobs is to increase, and the number of people available to fill those jobs is to decrease, then the value of a sportswriter should increase.

    As it is now, you've got a billion college grads trying to break in every year, and newspapers are glad to replace expensive veterans with them. But if through buyouts and layoffs veterans continue to leave the industry and the college kids begin pursuing journalism at a lower rate, the existing reporters should eventually gain some leverage, especially if Rivals.com is making an offer.

    (That's a whole lotta ifs, of course)
  8. SportySpice

    SportySpice Member

    I have to think that some point the supply of blogs, sites and other outlets covering the same thing will outweigh the demand and/or time available for the average reader, which means you'd eventually get the surviving outlets making a bigger share of the money and they'd likely pay more for better quality reporting and writing.

    Of course, I still blindly walk into work and think that somehow, some way, the job will eventually start to swing back to the enjoyment and benefits outweighing the pile of crap.
    So, in other words, like someone said above, who the hell knows. We have some idea, I suppose, but no one knows for sure.
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