Trust in news from legacy media

1 Feb

Dan Potter mentioned in class that newspapers were attractive because of the rich content they supplied, but when media crises hit, they cut, cut, cut. This trend is illustrated not only with local newspapers, but also with national papers and especially foreign correspondents.

Just this week, Time Inc. cut 500 jobs, one of its largest layoffs in years. According to Ad Age, the company “counted as many as 12,000 employees as recently as 2007, but was down to 8,000 before today’s cuts.” The CEO said in a release that with changes in the media industry, the company needs to be lean, nimble and innately multi-platform, accurately describing the changes we have seen in the print media in the past five years. While newspapers are adjusting to what they can financially handle, I wonder how it will affect journalism history and how this period is discussed.

In my mass media seminar, a large focus of the class is the relationship between journalism and democracy. We spend great lengths of time in the graduate program discussing how a free and thriving press is vital for democracy. I’m curious about the future because the more we cut those supplying the content, the less informed the public will be about international and hyper-local issues. As many resources and websites are out there, the lack of popular central platforms to publish news and information is a problem. Pew surveys annually show that the most trust in information is from the legacy media, so layoffs, although it is the easy answer financially, will in fact adjust these trust trends.

It was inspirational in class to hear Dan Potter say, “You’re going to reinvent the industry for us and bring it where it needs to be.” I hope our generation can bring the newspaper industry back with an interesting, innovative and financially stable model, maintaining trust from mainstream news sources and not just websites.

-Katie Artemas


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