In June 2015, the Wall Street Journal laid-off 30 newsroom workers and contributed to a trend that has been growing for some time. According to MediaPost.com, newsroom employment in the United States has fallen from 56,400 employees in 2001, down to 32,900 in 2014. That is a 41 percent drop in the number of editors and qualified reporters that work for newspaper print and online publications.
While the big daily newspapers and smaller newspapers with circulations under 5,000 are adding employees, the rest of the newspaper industry is dropping talented personnel at an alarming rate. When an industry lays off 41 percent of the people who develop that industry’s product, it makes other companies in that industry wonder how they can survive while whittling away at their own editorial staffs.
Create Efficiency In The Newsroom Operations
The days of the big lumbering newspaper that required a large newsroom staff to respond to the day’s events are long gone. In order to survive these days, news organizations need to consolidate responsibilities and find ways to make their overall operations more efficient. The news organization that can streamline its operations but still respond to breaking stories with quality content, will be the one that stays profitable in the new publishing environment.
Focus On What Your Publication Does Best
In the days before the Internet, it was possible for a publication to carry a large newsroom staff and try to report on every bit of news that occurred within a broad set of editorial guidelines. But over the years, many publications have become known for being much better at reporting certain types of news over others.
For example, if you have noticed that your financial section gets much more attention than your sports section, then perhaps you should focus your newsroom efforts on enhancing your financial content offerings. There are plenty of publications that report on sports, but you can harness your reputation for financial news by bringing in newsroom staff that can enhance your financial content.
Many publications that are experiencing a net loss in newsroom employees are still hiring editorial staff to expand their mobile content offering. Innovation moves quickly in the new digital publishing industry, and you need to make sure that you have the right newsroom staff in place to create content that readers will want to share and deliver that content in a platform that makes your publication much more accessible than the competition.
Continue To Innovate In The Mobile Content Area
The loss of newsroom talent in the publishing industry is no longer surprising, nor has it occurred suddenly. Publications have been watching the industry shed print newsroom staff and expand digital editorial workers, but there is no balance in these changes. The net losses in newsroom staff for publications around the world are significant, and the most successful publications are the ones that learn how to get the most out of the newsroom staff they have.