Monday, July 12, 2010

Too many journalists?

An unpleasant question: Do we have an excess of daily press journalists? And, if so, how does the surfeit vary from country to country?

Two years ago, Earl Wilkinson, the managing director of the International Newsmedia Marketing Association (INMA), produced a chart showing how the growth in the number of journalists employed by US dailies had not prevented a decrease in circulation:

A former journalist himself, Earl is a strong advocate of editorial differentiation; therefore, he is not against large newsrooms. But the fact remains: on the US market, the size of the newsroom isn’t a shield against readership erosion. With the possible exception of India, the era of big editorial cathedrals is gone. In France for instance, according to a 2009 study conducted by the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), the number of journalists almost tripled in two generations, about 50 years. For the same time period, the number of copies sold per 1000 inhabitants shrunk by 66%, from 360 about 120 per 1000 people.

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