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Tuesday, April 12, 2005

ASNE Sends APB for "Lost" Journalists, Arguments Yard Finds Blogs' Silver Lining

The American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE) is meeting this week and among the speakers is Dan Gillmor, author of "We the Media" and one of the genuine gurus of the Blogosphere. He will be telling the assembled editors that they need to embrace the potential news-empowerment available to them and their readers with the Blogosphere. We will see what kind of response Dan receives.

Meanwhile, ASNE always has a study or two to release at these annual confabs on trends in the nation's daily newsrooms. This year, the results of the study on newsroom staffing is a surprise to no one who has worked in a newsroom in the past decade, but are rather disheartening even so.

Rich Tucker of Arguments Yard has the silver lining in the bad news:
"I love the passive voice. 'Newsrooms lost ...' Lost? Are there search parties out? Any chance these reporters will be found soon?Nobody was 'lost.' Many have been fired. There are fewer journalists because newspapers keep firing people, even when profits are soaring.
"Eventually, there simply won't be any reporters left. And we'll all be dependent on bloggers."

Rich, by the way, is a colleague of mine at The Heritage Foundation and a former CNN desk editor. He'll deny it but he also has one of the sharpest analytical minds in the news business about the news business.

UPDATE: Jeff Jarvis does a number on the ASNE staff reduction numbers, comparing the decline in MSM jobs to the phenomenal increase in the number of bloggers, and comes up with a bunch more reasons why the MSM must find a way to incorporate bloggers into the reporting process.