We are now on the cusp of making history for an open Internet. But don’t tell that to the Wall Street Journal, which today published an article that portrayed the movement for Net Neutrality as losing steam.
The journalism profession is in crisis, where every week brings another bleak announcement.The situation looks dire for the mainstream media industry, particularly for newspaper companies. Tribune Company, the third-largest newspaper chain in the nation and owner of 23 TV stations, declared bankruptcy. Gannett, the largest newspaper chain in the country, announced it was slashing 2,000 jobs. Scripps put a “for sale” sign on The Rocky Mountain News, and the Miami Herald is reportedly on the block.
With thousands of journalists losing their jobs, how are the media filling all those column inches?
As media companies buy up more media outlets and slash newsroom budgets and staff, reporters have less time to do their jobs, often resorting to writing entire stories based on a press release alone, and sometimes printing stories that mirror an organization or agency’s exact press statement.
The news keeps getting worse for newspaper journalists and the communities that depend on their daily papers for local coverage. Across the country, newspapers are trying to maintain their high profit margins by slashing newsroom jobs and news coverage.Last month, the Star-Ledger, the largest newspaper in New Jersey, became the latest paper to scale back its newsroom operation. The paper announced plans to lay off 40 percent of its staff. The Los Angeles Times laid off another 75 journalists.
The United States of America — land of the free, home of the First Amendment — is supposed to be a beacon for the rest of the world. So where do we stand in the latest global rankings of press freedom?Thirty-sixth.That’s not a typo. It’s a national disgrace.
Over the next week, a carload of independent journalists will be winding their way through the South, perhaps one of the only caravans of media-makers not pounding the worn campaign trail. Are they on a beat? You could say that.