. . . . Politico is running a fascinating, illuminating report about journalism and why it is the way it is. Or another way to put it, this report informs us to why the journalists and talking heads called the latest US presidential so wrong. This applies at least as much in every other country that still has has any vestige of a history of free expression, free press and investigative journalism -- whether Britain, Japan, etc. Read the Politico piece here.
The Media Bubble Is Worse Than You Think
We crunched the data on where journalists work and how fast it’s changing. The results should worry you.
By JACK SHAFER and TUCKER DOHERTY May/June 2017
I've pulled a pertinent sequence, which follows below. However the report is much more detailed and long than that. It has graphs and stats like crazy.
.... The newspaper industry has jettisoned hundreds of thousands of jobs, due to falling advertising revenues. Dailies have shrunk sections, pages and features; some have retreated from daily publication; hundreds have closed. Daily and weekly newspaper publishers employed about 455,000 reporters, clerks, salespeople, designers and the like in 1990, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. By January 2017, that workforce had more than halved to 173,900. Those losses were felt in almost every region of the country.
As newspapers have dwindled, internet publishers have added employees at a bracing clip. According to BLS data, a startling boom in “internet publishing and broadcasting” jobs has taken place. Since January 2008, internet publishing has grown from 77,900 jobs to 206,700 in January 2017. In late 2015, during Barack Obama’s second term, these two trend lines—jobs in newspapers, and jobs in internet publishing—finally crossed. For the first time, the number of workers in internet publishing exceeded the number of their newspaper brethren. Internet publishers are now adding workers at nearly twice the rate newspaper publishers are losing them.
This isn’t just a shift in medium. It’s also a shift in sociopolitics, and a radical one. Where newspaper jobs are spread nationwide, internet jobs are not: Today, 73 percent of all internet publishing jobs are concentrated in either the Boston-New York-Washington-Richmond corridor or the West Coast crescent that runs from Seattle to San Diego and on to Phoenix. The Chicagoland area, a traditional media center, captures 5 percent of the jobs, with a paltry 22 percent going to the rest of the country. And almost all the real growth of internet publishing is happening outside the heartland, in just a few urban counties, all places that voted for Clinton. So when your conservative friends use “media” as a synonym for “coastal” and “liberal,” they’re not far off the mark.
What caused the majority of national media jobs to concentrate on the coasts? An alignment of the stars? A flocking of like-minded humans? The answer is far more structural, and far more difficult to alter: It was economics that done the deed.
The magic of the internet was going to shake up the old certainties of the job market, prevent the coagulation of jobs in the big metro areas, or so the Web utopians promised us in the mid-1990s. The technology would free internet employees to work from wherever they could find a broadband connection. That remains true in theory, with thousands of Web developers, writers and producers working remotely from lesser metropolises.
But economists know something the internet evangelists have ignored: All else being equal, specialized industries like to cluster. Car companies didn’t arise in remote regions that needed cars—they arose in Detroit, which already had heavy industry, was near natural resources, boasted a skilled workforce and was home to a network of suppliers that could help car companies thrive. As industries grow, they bud and create spinoffs, the best example being the way Silicon Valley blossomed from just a handful of pioneering electronics firms in the 1960s. Seattle’s rise as a tech powerhouse was seeded by Microsoft, which moved to the area in 1979 and helped create the ecosystem that gave rise to companies like Amazon.