March 18 – 25, 2010 Edition News Media Declines Blamed on Failure to Adapt

BISMARCK, ND/Authorlink News/03/18/10–A newly-released report from the Pew Research Center’s annual Project for Excellence in Journalism, shows that 2009 was a devastating year for the traditional news media. Among Pew’s findings were that newspapers currently spend $1.6 billion less annually on reporting and editing than they did ten years ago and over the last three years 15,000 full-time reporting and editing jobs were lost.

Jason Stverak, President of the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, a leading non-profit journalism organization, released the following statement:
“The decline in resources and employment of professional journalists by traditional news media is not the result of a failure of journalism or decline in demand by citizens for local and state news. It is the result of media business leaders’ failure to adapt to new market realities. As the reanimation of journalism arises in new online news ventures, many traditional media outlets are holding onto ineffective, costly and obsolete practices that are decreasing circulation and curtailing appeal.

“Pew’s excellent report also reiterated that the decline of news resources at traditional media has led to editors and news directors curbing reporters’ ability to spend the time, money and resources to thoroughly investigate major, complicated stories in addition to covering the daily beats. This growing hole in investigative journalism is now being filled by online non-profit journalism organizations that have the capacity to spend time, become immersed in the story and uncover details that may be overlooked by the traditional media.

“Traditional media must adapt to survive in 2010 and one way for them to do this is by partnering with non-profit journalism organizations. By forming alliances with online news ventures, newspapers will receive quality investigative content that traditional media can no longer afford, and enhance local coverage in numerous states. The survival of the news business depends on its ability to form partnerships with online non-profit journalism organizations and bring their business model into the 21st Century,” Stverak concluded.

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About The Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity

The Franklin Center is a non-profit group dedicated to providing investigative reporters and non-profit organizations at the state and local level with the training, expertise and technical support necessary to pursue journalistic endeavors. By networking with state-based think tanks, local non-profits, and independent Watchdog reporters across the country, the Franklin Center works against the growing tide of mediocrity and bias in the media and punditry of alternative online sources. The Franklin Center undertakes programs that promote investigative reporting and the education of the public about corruption, incompetence and abuse of public trust by elected officials. The Franklin Center is also a sponsor of and Statehouse News Bureaus.