The coming death of print newspapers

Say you’re a journalist now working for a newspaper. You know your job is anything but secure.

I asked several reporters, editors, and scholars what journalists should do to get ready for the next wave of firings. There were three strong consensus answers: first, get good at understanding and presenting data. Second, understand how social media can work as a newsroom tool. Third, get whatever newsroom experience you can working in teams, and in launching new things.

That’s from Clay Shirky, writing in Last Call: The end of the printed newspaper. He goes on to explain those three bits of advice, a little way below the halfway mark in his post. 

There was one other common reaction among the people I spoke with about the coming changes: almost to a person, they noted that journalists can no longer rely on their employers to provide the opportunities to learn new skills. … If you’re a journalist working inside a newspaper and you want to train for your next job, you’re largely on your own.

This should be important to journalism educators! Why? It’s imperative for us to give students more opportunities to teach themselves — to prime them for lifetime learning. Otherwise, they’ll never succeed in journalism.


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