When I look at the photos of the current staff, I think that the pix could have come from a middle-school yearbook. Those kids are so young. I hope they're still getting allowances from their parents, as I'd hate to think of anyone trying to live on a reporter salary these days. Former colleague of mine once said that it was a sad thing for someone to reach middle age and still be living with roommates or in an efficiency apartment in a bad complex, be driving a 10-year-old compact car, and taking all vacations visiting family to save hotel room expenses. That's the lot of a reporter on a smaller paper. Unfortunately, on a big paper, the reporter's lot is likely to be imminent unemployment.
Brett Arends, in his ROI column on MarketWatch, writes on the crunch that is bearing down on journalism. His concluding paragraphs:
So long as news tries to live off online advertising alone, the future for journalists is not bright. Journalism may become like acting or being a musician: There will be fewer full-time jobs, and they will pay poorly. A lot of news writing will end up being done by amateurs, those with day jobs or by kids just out of college, sharing rooms in Brooklyn, N.Y., before they go on to "real" careers.
What that may portend for the quality of reporting is another matter. If we end up living on a content diet of propaganda, celebrity gossip and free blogs, too bad.
You can read the whole thing here. Arends has some painful numbers on the possibility of newspapers being able to make the nut by selling clicks.
And the paper today was thin, despite this being the traditional season for big ad sales.