This story sadly reminds me of my short stint working for the Delaware County Daily Times 20-years ago when there were close to 100 employees clustered in a building in Primos, PA performing every aspect of daily newspaper publishing from reporting, writing, photography, composing, art, printing, circulation and advertising. I wasn’t happy about being fired before my first anniversary, but in hindsight, I partially contributed to my untimely dismissal. As a vengeance project, I launched a community journalism effort named the Chester Spotlight paper which is the precursor to the blog you’re reading today. Who would have thought I’d still be publishing today just because I was pissed off way back then? It didn’t take long to realize that my firing was the very first domino to fall at the Daily Times as they shed employees over those years to the point that now there are probably about a dozen remaining employees who all work from home since the parent company can’t even justify office space for the paper anymore. Witnessing a once vibrant industry deteriorate right before my eyes these last two decades is a hard pill to swallow but I’m encouraged at those who continue finding creative ways to pivot in order to deliver important quality content essential for society to remain educated, informed, and connected. The following submission describes the current signs of the times in the journalism space.

by Danielle Smith

A report from the Georgetown University Center on Education and Workforce found the number of journalism jobs will continue to decline over the next decade. 

It says more than one-third of journalism jobs will be lost by 2031. 

The survey found job losses for journalists are the result of decades of decline, primarily due to newspaper downsizing and closures. 

Bernie Ankney, dean of the School of Communication at Point Park University, said the newspaper industry has been struggling for over 30 years because advertising that once supported a daily newspaper has gone away. 

He added that it’s time for educational institutions to shift as the industry is changing. 

“Newspapers aren’t giving raises,” said Ankney. “The size of staff is shrinking some. It doesn’t mean there’s not tremendous value in journalism education. It’s just the industry has changed. And colleges and universities have had to change to address that.”

The survey found employment by newspaper publishers has fallen 63%. But employment has increased up to six times what is once was in internet publishing, broadcasting, and online search portals. 

Ankney said the university has pivoted and now offers a curriculum that prepares students to work in five different areas of the journalism profession: radio, television, newspapers, multimedia, and photojournalism. 

“But it also prepares you for related fields,” said Ankney. “You might decide I want to go into Public Relations, advertising or social media. If you do our digital journalism track prepares you for that. You may decide you want to work for a website, we prepare you for that.”

The survey also says journalists are not highly paid, depending on the market. 

But Ankney added that there are still good opportunities at newspapers and magazines if students learn how to do multimedia reporting such as writing and editing audio and video.