Tuesday, 1 September 2009

'Cutting young journalists makes it more difficult for papers to adapt to digital media'

Young journalists are disappearing from cost-cutting newspapers in the US at the same time publishers are trying to adapt to the internet, according to a survey conducted by industry group Associated Press Managing Editors, Editor & Publisher reports.
The report suggests the massive staff cuts at newspapers across the US will make it even more difficult for the industry to remain relevant in the age of digital media.
Most of the 95 editors responding to the August survey said their newsroom staffs had shrunk by more than 10 percent during the past year. And workers between 18 and 35 years old represented the largest age group affected by the layoffs, buyouts and attrition, the survey found.
The report says: "Retaining younger workers may be more important than ever as the Internet reshapes the way stories and photographs are assembled and presented. While many older journalists are adapting, the adjustment presumably isn't as difficult for younger workers who have grown up with the Internet and may have honed their digital skills in college. Having the viewpoints of younger workers also helps newspapers identify trends and issues affecting younger generations."
The survey also shows that persuading current and prospective workers that newspapers remain an attractive career option is getting more difficult as the industry's financial woes mount.

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