If ever there was a time to take pity on America's journalists, this would be it.
The U.S. news industry is bleeding jobs. According to the American Society of Newspaper Editors, 2,400 journalists left newspaper newsrooms last year, either through layoffs or buyouts, leaving the industry with its smallest workforce since 1984. Circulation and revenue are falling across the country, as are share prices: Gannett, the country's largest newspaper publisher, is seeing its stock trade at around one-third its value a year ago; the New York Times Co. is down 45 percent. Classified advertising revenues have dropped 30 percent over the last two years and the last quarter was one of the industry's worst ever.
Just how bad can it get? The American Journalism Review's Charles Layton recently concluded that "we may begin seeing, pretty soon, big American cities with no daily newspaper."