Accuracy in Media

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has confirmed what many of us already knew—newspaper jobs have disappeared at an alarming rate over the last 26 years.

According to the BLS, newspaper jobs fell from about 458,000 in 1990 to roughly 183,000 in March 2016, which is a drop of almost 60%.

Radio and broadcasting also saw losses—though not as steep as newspapers—with employment falling 27% from 1990 to 2016.

The job losses were partially offset by the rapid rise in Internet publishing and online broadcasting, from 30,000 to nearly 198,000.

Newspaper jobs started to disappear as Internet use grew and people switched to their computers, smartphones and tablets for news. That, combined with the 2008 economic crisis—which led to a steep decline in advertising revenues, the lifeblood of newspapers—has led to large subscriber losses and, in turn, layoffs.

Radio and broadcasting have been affected by similar forces but not to the same degree as newspapers, as people haven’t completely given up watching TV or listening to the radio.

The future doesn’t look much better for the industry, as millennials rarely read newspapers. What readership that newspapers currently have tends to be older and many are dying off, meaning that the printed page as we know it may completely disappear in the next 10 to 20 years.

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