The Five-Year Reset: The industry buzz: Then and now

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Randy Picht, executive director of RJI, and Edson Tandoc, Ph.D. candidate and Fulbright Fellow at the Missouri School of Journalism, presented on what journalism was thinking about five years ago when RJI first opened its doors and what we're thinking about those topics now in 2013. The presentation occurred at Five Years Past/Five Years Forward: Next Steps for Sustaining Journalism, held at RJI on Sept. 10, 2013.

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The Five-Year Reset: The industry buzz: Then and now

  1. 1. The Five-Year Reset The industry buzz: then and now University of Missouri Missouri School of Journalism
  2. 2. What journalism was thinking about five years ago… University of Missouri Missouri School of Journalism Which way is up? Is there an up? Technology is the future Technology is killing us Our audience is shrinking Our audience is growing
  3. 3. University of Missouri Missouri School of Journalism Layoffs lead … “Today, the Los Angeles Daily News will say goodbye to 22 more editors and reporters, paring its newsroom to 100 people from nearly twice that many a few years ago.” –LA Times, Feb. 2008 2008 to more layoffs 2013 Roughly 2,600 full-time professional editorial jobs at newspapers disappeared in 2012, a 6.4 percent decline compared to 2011′s total, leaving industry news employment at 38,000. –ASNE, June2013
  4. 4. University of Missouri Missouri School of Journalism A 5-year worry fest “Journalists are increasingly uneasy about the future, wondering if they can keep up with the meteoric pace of technology and whether their jobs will even exist much longer, a new survey shows.” –American Journalism Review, February 2008 2008 2013 “Ever-shrinking newsrooms, dwindling budgets and competition from Internet businesses have created very difficult conditions for newspaper reporters, which has been ranked as this year's worst job.” --CareerCast, April 2013
  5. 5. University of Missouri Missouri School of Journalism Online advertising… “Newspaper executives point to the Internet as the future of newspapers, arguing that a combination of online and print products will assure newspapers of a profitable future.” – American Journalism Review, April 2008 2008 2013 Newspaper advertising revenues continued their long slide in 2012, with print revenues dipping yet again. Online grew by 3.7% in 2012 and is now about 15% of the total. –Pew Research Center It’s not what we thought
  6. 6. University of Missouri Missouri School of Journalism Paywalls bad… The New York Times had just stopped charging for access to parts of its website two years after it started its TimesSelect subscription program. It had asked readers to pay $7.95 a month or $49.95 a year for content from their famous columnists. 2008 2013 “The New York Times’ landmark metered paywall will be two years old next month, and it’s already successful beyond anyone’s expectations. Its impact is reverberating through what remains of the newspaper industry, as publishers seize on lessons learned by the Times...” – CJR, February 2013 Paywalls good
  7. 7. University of Missouri Missouri School of Journalism Enterprise values tumble… “McClatchy sold Minneapolis' Star Tribune for less than half what it paid for it, and the company wrote down nearly $1.4 billion of its assets, chiefly newspapers. There's no doubt a lot happened last year to change the nature of the newspaper business, setting the stage for more upheaval to come.” –AJR, February 2008 2008 2013 “In the wake of the $250 million sale of The Washington Post to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos this week, newspaper owners could be facing greater pressure—and certainly more rumors and speculation—about cementing their own exit strategy, analysts say.” –The Tennessean, August 2013 and tumble
  8. 8. University of Missouri Missouri School of Journalism Traditional Roles Disappearing? “They’ve been struggling with downsizing, the rise of the amateur, the ubiquity of camera phones… Like print journalists, photographers are scrambling not only to make sense of the new world, but to survive in it intact.” – American Journalism Review, July 2008 2008 2013 Chicago Sun-Times and the Southern Community Newspapers Inc. (SCNI) chain in Georgia closed their entire photo departments in 2013. ESPN also cut about 100 jobs this year.
  9. 9. University of Missouri Missouri School of Journalism A pencil, a pad and a blog A survey of 178 reporters found that journalists are increasingly active participants in the blogosphere: One in four reporters (27.7%) have their own blogs. --Brodeur, January 2008 2008 2013 A 2013 survey of 500 journalists from 14 countries, including the US, found that 55% agree that blogs are a great way to build a personal profile, and that 34% have one. --–Mediabistro, June 2013
  10. 10. University of Missouri Missouri School of Journalism I tweet, therefore I am “Most newsrooms have utterly narcissistic Twitter accounts. The worst offenders (which unfortunately is the majority) use services like Twitterfeed to automatically tweet links to the newspaper’s own content...This is a perfect example of how mainstream news orgs got so far behind on the web…” –Publishing 2.0, Oct. 2008 2008 2013 A 2013 survey of 500 journalists from 14 countries, including the US, found that 59% use Twitter, up from 47% the previous year (2012). –Mediabistro, June 2013
  11. 11. University of Missouri Missouri School of Journalism Gaining momentum? “The prospects for user-created content, once thought possibly central to the next era of journalism, for now appear more limited, even among ‘citizen’ sites and blogs.” --Pew for Excellence in Journalism, 2008 2008 2013 “It is perhaps fitting that the first on-scene report on the Asiana airplane crash came not from a traditional correspondent but via social media in the form of a Samsung executive and one-time online media boss who was also a passenger on the ill-fated plane.” –USA Today, July 2013
  12. 12. University of Missouri Missouri School of Journalism My coffee and my dashboard “It’s reasonable to assume that the migration to online news would have given organizations an easy and precise way to calculate their Web readership. But the truth is we don’t even know what to count.” –CJR, April 2008 2008 2013 A survey of 114 members of ASNE found that 98% use web analytics in their newsrooms. Some 21% reported they are using analytics to also evaluate the performance of their employees.
  13. 13. University of Missouri Missouri School of Journalism 2013….

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