Cost-cutting newspapers are losing many of their youngest reporters, editors and photographers at the same time publishers are trying to break some of their old habits and learn new tricks on the Internet.
The findings emerged in a recent survey conducted by the Associated Press Managing Editors, an industry group. The report suggests the massive staff cuts at newspapers across the United States will make it even more difficult for the industry to adapt and remain relevant in the age of digital media.
Most of the 95 editors responding to the August survey said their newsroom staffs had shrunk by more than 10 percent during the past year. And workers between 18 and 35 years old represented the largest age group affected by the layoffs, buyouts and attrition, the survey
Meanwhile, the survey's respondents indicated minorities working in newsrooms were among the demographic groups least affected by the cutbacks.
Most of the survey respondents said cultivating an ethnically diverse staff remains a high priority, even as their newsrooms shrink. That echoes an April survey from the American Society of News Editors, which found that daily newspapers cut 5,900 newsroom jobs in 2008 — but maintained the percentage of minorities at roughly 13 percent.
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If I were a young, talented reporter looking at the future of print journalism ( and perhaps journalism more broadly) I would be thinking hard about my career choices.
Since their audience is white-haired and dying off daily, keeping the older reporters may actually benefit newspapers. Same generation.
Nobody ever accused newspaper top management of thinking ahead. It's always been 10 years behind the times. They don't go outside and hire smart managers.
Any manager who can think beyond today need not apply. McClatchy only requires blind loyalty, unabated ass-kissing and vigorous head nodding when Gary speaks. That is all.
McClatchy has become so yesterday.
It is a bit like the farmer who eats his seed corn for next year because he is hungry this year.
I believe there is a future in journalism. However, that future is surely not based on the current model. It will be a new model and it will come from somewhere other than the entrenched mid and upper level management we have now.
Don't eat your seed corn.
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