Monday, June 16, 2008

McClatchy Layoffs and New Media Journalism

McClatchy cuts begs question of new media monetization

The McClatchy Co., which owns The Sacramento Bee, announced a 10 percent companywide cut in its work force today. McClatchy is not alone in being battered by declining profits and revenue. This is the Sacramento publisher's first-ever across-the-board layoffs.

When I meet with my students next semester what do I tell them?

I can tell them about McClatchy eliminating 1,400 jobs through a combination of layoffs, voluntary departures and attrition. I can tell them the Bee, McClatchy's largest paper, announced it will eliminate 86 jobs. I can tell them the reduction will trim the paper's workforce by 8.1 percent. I can tell them that the driving force behind this is the flight of advertising to the Web plus rising costs of energy and newsprint.

I can tell them the future is the Internet, but can I tell them how to make real money there? No, I cannot. If we tell students they've got to be on the Internet, but cannot tell journalism students how money can be made on the Internet, what is the point?

Tell me, when I meet with my students next semester what do I tell them?

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