When the economy picks up steam, will anyone be left to report about it? Editorandpublisher.com, by way of Jim Romenesko’s Media News says, “Permanent fixed-cost reductions” — that’s the catchphrase at newspapers these days. Pressured to improve their profit margins, a number of chains that slimmed down last year will continue to operate with fewer people — even when the economy improves.”
Twenty years ago, Tom Wolfe told an interviewer:
“I don’t know how much corruption there is at the local level, but there’s never been a better time in the century for there to be corruption in local government, because the press isn’t going to report it.”
With the exception of Internet reporters such as Matt Drudge, and a few others, and despite the proliferation of 24 hour news channels, most mainstream newspaper and TV reporting has never been shallower.
This sounds like a perfect opportunity for bloggers and enterprising freelancers to pick up the slack. It’s possible that news agencies might use a combination of both to affordably diversify their reporting pool (see my article from last fall in CatholicExchange.com for some ideas on this subject), but who knows if that will happen. The fact that Drudge was absolutely loathed by most traditional reporters when he first appeared on the map doesn’t bode well–but hopefully I’m just being cynical.