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The article, on a journalism website, was on a topic I’ve seen a lot of lately: a college newspaper had ditched print in order to focus exclusively on digital news. Not only that, the staff of this student news operation was expanding its focus to cover not just the campus but even some local and national news. Not surprisingly, the article practically gushed about the idea of these students leaving behind so-called “legacy” journalism to fully embrace online news. This is of a piece with the groupthink that pervades sites that cover the news business. Print journalism is old and thus bad. Digital is shinyRead More →

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Computer network support specialists. Architectural and engineering managers. Electrical engineers. Those all sound like pretty good careers, ones with decent employment prospects. And yet each of those those fields employ roughly the same number of people in the U.S. – around 180,000 – as newspapers. According to a recent report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 183,200 people working for newspapers nationwide. That compares to 184,570 computer network support specialists, 179,770 architectural and engineering managers, and 178,580 electrical engineers. The funny thing is, I haven’t read any depressing articles about how there are no jobs to be had for computer network support specialists,Read More →

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The headline on a well-known journalism website – “There are now more Americans working for online-only outlets than newspapers” – seemed to be yet another one of those sign-of-the-times studies showing how print journalism is going the way of the dinosaurs in the brave new digital world. And someone not reading the accompanying article carefully might get the impression that there are now more journalists working specifically for online-only news websites – the Buzzfeeds and the Huffington Posts of the world – than for newspapers. But that’s not exactly what the numbers show. The article was based on data from the U.S. Bureau of LaborRead More →

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Across the country, some college newspapers are shutting down their printing presses. From the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Post to the Daily Athenaeum at West Virginia University to the paper at Ohio University, student-run publications are reducing the frequency of their printed product or ditching it all together. Editors at these papers offer a variety of reasons. Some say it is a cost-cutting measure. Others say they want to focus exclusively on their digital product and not be distracted by the hassle of producing a printed paper. I think this is a bad idea, and I’ll tell you why. First, a lot of college journalism studentsRead More →