Why Journalism Is Not a 'Dying' Field

For journalism majors everywhere, the harsh reality of finding a job begins to set in at one point in time or another. While this is a common concern for all college students, journalism majors have a special fear in their hearts because of the lack of jobs in the field right now. However, this isn’t because journalists aren’t needed or liked in society anymore, but instead is due to a unique problem currently in the journalism world: how to make enough money to stay in business.

With the rise of the Internet in the late 1980s, newspapers began to lose revenue from ads and classifieds to websites like Craigslist. Newspapers since then have had no other option but to cut down on hard hitting, costly investigative news stories as well as staff. Many major newspapers still have not been able to recover.

However, newspapers and new digital media corporations are trying hard to confront this problem and find creative solutions, starting first with advertising. Over 20 years ago, The Boston Globe and then The New York Times launched the first online free news sites. Now, almost every newspaper receives most of its readership and revenue through its website. Newspapers like The New York Times and new digital media corporations like BuzzFeed, Vice and Vox have also turned to subtly sponsored posts to provide useful content to its readers while also bringing in revenue for themselves.

For example, The New York Times published the article Women Inmates: Why the Male Model Doesn’t Work, which explores the complex issue of a rising rate of female incarceration as well as the unique challenges women face in a system that’s designed for men and how this affects their futures beyond prison. However, upon further examination, you may notice the subtle Netflix and Orange is the New Black logo at the top or the opening video to the show embedded in the middle of the article promoting Season Two. While some may argue that this sort of advertisement cheats readers out of hard hitting news and puts advertisers first, this new form of advertising actually allows newspapers to make enough revenue to investigate and write stories about issues such as female incarceration.

This current struggle in journalism does not mean that it’s dying but that it’s simply morphing and adapting to a new way of delivering the news. This also means that this new generation of journalists is not only responsible for providing accurate and useful news, but also for providing new ideas and fresh perspectives to help ensure the success of the journalism field. So, have no fear because journalists aren’t going anywhere.