The sky is not falling

From the Columbia Journalism Review comes a short note taking “A Long View on Layoffs.”

For those looking for some comfort in numbers, rest assured that there appear to be plenty of working journalists left around here somewhere. The CJR piece runs down some long-term employment statistics and then turns loose some of Wilson Lowrey’s ideas.

I quote Prof. Lowrey in the lit review to my thesis-in-progress, and I had the pleasure of meeting him last year when he moderated an AEJMC panel that gave me quite a bit of hope for the future.

But on to the blockquote from the CJR story:

“…bloggers are individual workers, while traditional journalists contribute to larger systems. Their competitive relationship, he says, “could benefit audiences and society” by pressuring professional journalists to be more accurate and, in some cases, filling the need for information that either falls outside the bounds of traditional newsgathering or simply slips through cracks caused by downsizing. Unlike the for-profit news outlets on which they depend for original reporting, bloggers are relatively unencumbered by professional media’s overarching “need to attract large audiences and advertisers.” As a result, blogs are free to be specialized, complex, and partisan. They can also stay with stories longer and quote nonelite sources often ignored by their institutional counterparts.”

That’s a great way to say that bloggers operate out in the Long Tail; a great deal of agility comes with that position.

(CJR article via my thesis adviser, appropriately enough.)