Monday, May 11, 2009
I'm graduating from college (?) May 23 into a world I am not familiar with - one without a writing position at a physical news publication. In a way it's dark, but there's so many opportunities online that I'm not worried. I spoke with the Daily Collegian's Brian Wood (current Arts & Living Editor, future Web/Multimedia Editor) recently about the future of journalism and he had a lot of insight into the matter regarding advertising, money, the power of the internet, and accepting overall changes in the way news organizations do their business.
One example where decreased cash flow is affecting business is at the Collegian. Ad sales are down so the paper's quality is down. They're used to running 12+ pages but have been forced to cut it down to eight lately, allowing certain sections only one page (including Arts & Living). This decrease in money flow has also lead to general pay decreases for those who are even making money - zero reporters (like me) make a dime, zero assistant editors (like me) make a dime... it's only the people with the title "editor" who make any money through the Collegian, and even then people are taking cuts. Editor in Chief Mike King even chose to forgo the rest of his pay for the year so the money can be put back into the paper.
The Collegian has readied themselves for the onslaught of converting to online, finally getting ahold of a server which works for them. They hope to better their multimedia content next year. Brian made a good point - why pay for a newspaper subscription when you're just going to put the paper down for your pet to piss on when you can get the news for free online? It just doesn't make sense, especially in this economy.