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Journalism is doing just fine, thanks its mass-media business models that are ailing
Posted on 30-Aug-2014 19:47 by Bill Bennett | Tags Filed under: Articles


Bill Bennett:

Mathew Ingram has a good point. Journalism is doing OK. That’s true despite the current fuss about certain bloggers here in New Zealand. Or possibly because of them.

While journalism may be doing fine, journalists are not. When I arrived in New Zealand in 1987 I was told by the president of the Journalist’s Union there were more than 700 members working in Wellington. I doubt there are that number working in New Zealand today.

What’s more, when I started as a journalist in the early 1980s, it was a well paid, prestigious job. Getting a job was tough, employers could pick from the cream of talent leaving schools, higher ed colleges and universities.

At that time I earned more than almost anyone else with my age and background, enough to buy a flat in London when I was just 23 and travel around the world in the same year. Today the hourly rate for most journalists is not far off the minimum wage. I know of journalists who work night jobs to pay the rent. A rank and file journalist in Auckland might earn $35,000 to $40,0000 . Incidentally that’s more or less what someone with the same skills would have made in 1987. Likewise, the freelance word rate hasn’t changed in 25 years.

How do I survive? Mainly by writing features and being paid by the word writing enough words means long hours. I also write for company web sites and various business focused writing projects. If you need that kind of writing give me a call.

So yes, journalism may be thriving as a form, but as a career it has gone backwards.

Originally posted on Gigaom:

Is the internet destroying journalism? In a piece at Salon, writer Andrew Leonard argues that it is primarily because the economics of news gathering in the Internet age suck, as he puts it. And its easy to see why someone would be drawn to that point of view, given the rapid decline of the print newspaper business and the waves of layoffs and closures that have affected that industry. But what Leonard is actually complaining about is the failure of a specific business model for funding journalism, not the decline of journalism itself.

Obviously, those two things are fairly closely related: Newspapers have represented the front lines of journalism for a generation or more, with deep benches of talent including foreign correspondents in dozens of countries around the world, and special investigative-reporting teams. And what has funded all of that journalism has been print-advertising revenue, which has been

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