If you’re lucky enough to have the right deep-pocketed owner buy your paper and steady it, you’ve won the lottery. If you’re in a town whose paper is owned by the better chains, or committed local ownership, your loss will probably be mitigated. Otherwise, you’re out of luck.
Cigar maker. Elevator operator. Pinsetter. Iceman. Lamplighter. Switchboard operator.
Local daily newspaper reporter?
How soon will we have to add this once-stable occupation to the list of jobs that once were — occupations once numerous that slid into obsolescence? (Not to mention the even more colorful spittleman [hospital attendant], rotarius [wheelwright], and hamberghmaker [horse collar maker].)
In this morning’s released annual census, the American Society of News Editors found its first double-digit decline in newsroom count since the Great Recession of seven years ago. Newsroom jobs dropped 10.4 percent — down to 32,900 full-time journalists at nearly 1,400 U.S. dailies, 2014 over 2013. That’s the loss of 3,800 jobs in just one year. (Detailed table at bottom of this column.)
How do we put this loss in perspective? This is only the third double-digit percentage decrease since ASNE began tracking newsroom staffing in 1978. And this year’s loss happened in the best U.S. economy in close than a decade. Daily newspapers have bled people in good times and bad.
At its top, newsroom employment hit 56,400 in 2001.
READ: Newsonomics: The halving of America’s daily newsrooms.