When I accepted my first job in Washington back in 1991, I planned to be here two or three years and hoped that working as a reporter at Congressional Quarterly would be the springboard to a career at newspapers in cities across the country. Fat chance.
I’ve worked inside the Beltway for 18 years now and haven’t worked full time at a print publication since the mid-1990s. (I have had occasional freelance pieces published in black ink.) Although I’d still love to work at a newspaper, that’s looking less and less like a viable option.
Jeff Jarvis explains why at BuzzMachine. He couches the news about the news business as bad and good, but the bad news — crashing stocks, declining viewership, plummeting ad revenue, the closure of more than 100 papers, and 15,000-plus newspaper jobs eliminated in 2008 — far outweighs the good.
The silver lining for the news business is the online world. But it will be years before enough readers move to the Web and the advertisers, and thus the revenue source for more online news jobs, follow. I’m eager for that day to come. For now, it’s a bit nerve-wracking.
UPDATE: Will blogs be the salvation of newspapers in their next life as online news sources? Now that would be ironic.
Filed under: Business and Media