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Friday, December 19, 2008

Even a hooker knows to collect first

What career did the telegraph writer go into when he got laid off? Did the horse and buggy driver take six months to find a job when his job was eliminated? Did typewriter repair shop owners polish their resumes on a typewriter when computers took over? Will the last auto worker in Detroit please close the door?

As an unemployed newspaper journalist, I can see how workers in dying professions, or at least massively changing professions, must have felt as their jobs ended. I expect newspapers will survive in some form, but as news content moves to the Internet, they're starting to learn how to get there before they die.

The Detroit newspapers recently made a smart decision, I think, that is at least an effort to keep from going under. They will publish three days a week and charge people to read their content on the Internet. Hooray! Finally, a newspaper is charging to read it online. I hope it's a success. At least a prostitute knows to get payment on top of the dresser before services are rendered. Instead of giving it away, the Detroit papers are asking for money upfront to read online. The Detroit Free Press online is $12 a month or free with a home subscription.

That move is too late to save my job at a California newspaper, but it gives me hope that newspapers will find a way to survive and be profitable.

I doubt if I'll work in newspapers again, although the news business is a career I love. I just now hope to either do it online or find another career equally exciting. Like autoworkers, who face a dying profession unless GM and Chrysler can get their act together, journalists are being laid off left and right to keep newspapers financially afloat. In the end, this may come back to haunt the newspapers, which rely on strong reporting and editing to produce a product readers will want. The cuts they've made may be so deep that readers will notice the little local news that makes it into the paper.

4 comments:

unemployeddad1 said...

Hi Aaron,

Good point. Though in todays terms the telegraph workers union would form a coalition with the buggy driver collective and approach Congress to ask for a bailout, arriving in Washington via first class steam locomotive accomodations for the hearings.

I'm reminded of Walt Disney's reaction to the loss of copyright on his "Oswald the Rabbit" intellectual property: he created "Mickey Mouse".

npd said...

Let's ask the 150 teachers in Dallas who lost their jobs if teaching is a stable profession. Maybe we should all take up the oldest profession--politics. Do you think the Governor of Illinois could give us any pointers?

Debra Napier said...

Nobody's safe except maybe the lawyers...the rougher it gets the more peopel sue.

In any case try :

www.JournalismNow.com

They have a good job board.

Good luck!

Debra Napier said...

sorry for the typo!