Visualizing The Print-pocalypse Of American Newspapers

The number of employees working in the media industry plunged 23.6 percent from 2008 to 2017, according to a new analysis.

According to a Pew Research analysis published Monday, in 2017, there were about 88,000 newsroom employees – reporters, editors, photographers, and videographers – working across five industries that generate news: broadcast news, cable, newspapers, radio, and other information services. That number is down from 114,000 employees in 2008, which represents a loss of about 27,000 jobs (-23.6 percent).

Glancing through the report, what caught our attention — is the decline in newspaper employees.

Pew mentioned the number of employees at newspapers across the US collapsed -45 percent over the last ten years. Citing the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Employment Statistics survey data, the nonpartisan American fact tank reports roughly 71,000 workers were employed at newspapers in 2008, while the number stands at only 39,000 in 2017.

“Of the five industries studied, notable job growth occurred only in the digital-native news sector,” reported Pew.

“Since 2008, the number of digital-native newsroom employees increased by 79%, from about 7,400 workers to about 13,000 in 2017. This increase of about 6,000 total jobs, however, fell far short of offsetting the loss of about 32,000 newspaper newsroom jobs during the same period,” the fact tank added.

The decline in newspaper employment also means the industry is rapidly shrinking.  In 2008, newspaper newsroom employees were about 62 percent of all news workers. By 2017, they stand at only 45 percent.

In the last decade, there has been a noticeable expansion in television broadcasting workers of all newsroom employees, from 25 percent in 2008 to 33 percent in 2017. Employees in digital-native news increased from 6 percent of all newsroom employees to about 15 percent in 2017.

The analysis was published one week after another Pew Research study revealed 36 percent of the largest newspapers across the US — as well as 23 percent of the highest-traffic digital-native news outlets — experienced some form of layoffs between January 2017 and April 2018.

The study found newspapers with circulations of at least 250,000, had a higher probability of experiencing layoffs than smaller-circulation papers between January 2017 and April 2018. Pew noted that 56 percent of major US newspapers had layoffs. By comparison, 36 percent of newspapers between 100,000 and 249,999 had layoffs, and 30 percent of papers with circulations between 50,000 and 99,999 had to cut back their workforce.

As information technology revolutionizes the way through which people receive news, the direct result of such a radical shift is the collapse of the American newspaper industry. Earlier this month, New York Daily News cut half its editorial staff in another round of massive layoffs that now only has 40 employees remaining. There could be a lot more pain coming for American newspapers, as the print apocalypse could rear its ugly head in the next recession.


nope-1004 J S Bach Fri, 08/03/2018 - 20:00 Permalink

The interesting thing about newspapers in this age is that the minute they go to print the info is either old or obsolete.

Old information is not news. With a keyboard and digital platform news can be updated constantly, timely,  and at minimal cost. Not so much with the Guttenberg press.

Newsprint will naturally die.


In reply to by J S Bach

Endgame Napoleon Cryptopithicus Homme Fri, 08/03/2018 - 20:06 Permalink

Around 15 years ago, I had customers in that business, including the husband of a local anchor, who described a similar gutting of the industry. His wife said the print end was even worse. It has been a slow demise. Back in the Nineties, a person from my college went to work for the best known newspaper in the state, making a little under $30k. The only younger person I know in that industry has the independent means to be there without worrying about money, unlike one of the women working for the local news here who, a few years ago, was moonlighting in one of the mall stores.  

In reply to by Cryptopithicus Homme

DesScorp IridiumRebel Fri, 08/03/2018 - 19:44 Permalink

I used to enjoy newspapers back in the day... there were still a few good ones. I took the Wall Street Journal for awhile, before they became too expensive, and when their Libertarian faggotry was at a minimum.

Some people used to buy papers like the New York Times in spite of the politics because of things like the arts and culture sections. The problem is that the politics has spread to EVERY section of a paper now, and it's so blatant that even the most milquetoast Conservatism Inc normie can't deny it anymore. ALL the writers are now Woke. You can't go to an arts section anymore without stories on how your local symphony is part of The Resistance and is fighting the power, yo. Common people are just sick of that shit.

I'd LOVE to have a real newspaper again, but, it's not going to happen for the simple reason that like academia, the Left owns the whole news sector outside of Fox. And the WSJ is so open-borders faggoty that they may as well be Democrats, too.

So yeah. Let them die.

In reply to by IridiumRebel

Endgame Napoleon DesScorp Fri, 08/03/2018 - 20:28 Permalink

I loved newspapers, especially when bookstores had the giant pile of periodicals and newspapers from everywhere. It was worth a drive to the bookstore—even an 80-mile drive to a city—to gain access to those newspapers, journals, magazines, etc.

Maybe, I am imagining it, but, with a few exceptions, I am pretty sure that the quality of the writing has diminished in the internet era. I can go to websites where the writers I used to read load content, and some of those stellar writers are here on ZH. [Thanks Tyler Durden] 

The qualitative difference is obvious to me, but then, I started reading newspapers as a teenager. 

You are right about the obnoxious, in-your-face proselytizing. The NY Times used to have an enchanting book review, which is mostly reduced to obituaries, and even there, they manage to inject the PC message. [So-in-so left this world, lamenting the fact that race was still a roadblock in America]. 

The problem is also just the expedience of the internet. Everything is here, pronto, whereas you had to drive to the bookstore to access a wide range of print journalism back in the day.

If I had the money to subscribe, I would want an online newspaper with the full gamut of arts and political coverage, offering all the best writers from both sides and the best art, not just photography but cartoons and the traditional graphics that used to set print journalism apart. 

They do not need to pit hyper-partisanship with milquetoast. They should have clashing partisanship—a clash of ideas—like Buckley used to do with his NPT debates back in the late Eighties. He also did that on his show. He didn’t interview people who echoed his beliefs; he debated with the best minds on the other side. He wasn’t afraid of them. He made fun of them, gently.

That is the only way that print journalism offers anyone anything they can’t get elsewhere, and it needs to have high standards if people are going to pay for it. We are already paying a ton for phones and internet access. A few of those high-quality writers offer up their writings for free on their sites, but you have to wonder if they can keep that up forever.

In reply to by DesScorp

HopefulCynical ChaoKrungThep Sun, 08/05/2018 - 23:39 Permalink

Why isn't it digital? Cheaper, easier delivery.

I continue to believe that the bullshit business model of the '95 - '05 internet was specifically funded so as to prevent the transition you describe. Everything online was FREE! Never mind subscribing to a newspaper or magazine - here, have it all for free! Never mind the thousands of man-hours that went into producing a daily newspaper, the tens of thousands of man-hours that went into producing a weekly magazine. FREE, MOTHERFUCKERS! All the while, millenials were being fed Marxist doctrine in schools about how profit was evil and everything should be free.

Are any of you really surprised at how things are today?

I'll say it again: Until we hang the goddamn moneychangers - every last fucking one - nothing improves. Whine and bitch all you like; it's the truth.


In reply to by ChaoKrungThep

Endgame Napoleon Jackprong Fri, 08/03/2018 - 20:40 Permalink

We are mere commenters, with no professional standards to live up to, not journalists, backed up by editors and researchers who fortify the content and prune the writing.

But the anonymous-sources style of journalism, with the purging of editors and researchers, is one reason why we are losing respect for their profession. 

They are more and more like commenters, with an axe to grind and fewer editors to get their axe past, but there are still a few print journalists who can make a much more effective editorial argument than most commenters. They are much more disciplined in how they present their points. It is the difference between a professional and a hobbyist.

The other thing that many of them lack is either life experience or the freedom to express that openly, whereas the virtue of the internet is all the ground-level reality that gets discussed. The current fake news on the economy, for instance, reflects a profound gap between what’s out there and what is in the head of journalists who have somehow been cushioned from it.



In reply to by Jackprong

I am Groot Fri, 08/03/2018 - 19:29 Permalink

I stopped the local paper because it was written at a 10th grade reading level. And also because it turned into a Left wing commie fish wrapper not worth using to wipe your ass with.

koan Fri, 08/03/2018 - 19:32 Permalink

"The number of employees working in the media industry plunged 23.6 percent from 2008 to 2017..."

Turns out a Twitter bot could do their jobs better than they could.

Endgame Napoleon SuzerainGreyMole Fri, 08/03/2018 - 20:47 Permalink

Are you sure that is not just a way to increase circulation, making money, so that they can support their other PC lines? It is the young minority chick, talking smack, that will get them a lot of clicks. I am sure they will continue to mock Breitbart, while generating their money-making clicks via theatrics. She is supposed to be a technology expert, not an expert man-hater.

In reply to by SuzerainGreyMole

Korprit_Phlunkie Fri, 08/03/2018 - 19:36 Permalink

Newspapers will keep consolidating until they are one giant glob of lies, deceit and propaganda pushed by some global NWO entity, even if it is a money losing operation, MSNBC. They must try to control the narrative.