The news biz spiral goes on, the casualties keep coming. The latest – the Press Association is cutting seven of its 100 regional reporters, saying (via PG): “Unfortunately, the Press Association, like other media organisations, has been affected by the economic downturn”.
So that’s journalism’s present (reduction, retrenchment and P45s). What might its future look like? If these two examples are anything to go by, it’s going to be a leaner and stranger industry…
– Scandinavian newspaper business Schibsted may be holding out well in the recession with rising profits, but it still needs to cut NOK 300 million (£31.8 million) from its budget this year. To help with that, as J.co.uk points out, its Aftenposten paper in Norway is offering journalists either a redundancy pay-off or a local paper round. But delivering papers in Norway isn’t so bad — J.co.uk reports that two years ago the best paid delivery staff took home £80,000 a year and even bog standard delivery staff earned £40,000, which is still double what many regional journalists earn in the UK.
– Trinity Mirror (LSE: TNI) Southern, publisher of a series of free and paid-for local papers in London, is hiring for a “multimedia journalist”. Nothing unusual in that, you might say, but the advert is revealing of the company’s strategy. Working for print and online, the lucky candidate will write text and take pictures (no mention of video) and have a “flexible approach to working hours”. In keeping with many local publishers’ tactics of encouraging reporters to work from home as district offices shut, the ad says “the role involves mainly working alone under your own initiative“.