Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Attytood: UPDATED: The "lone nut" theory of the American newspaper assassination

Attytood: UPDATED: The "lone nut" theory of the American newspaper assassination: "If you won't charge customers for ads, and apparently you won't, then at least start accepting those text ads, and funnel those millions of dollars into the newly formed Craig's Foundation. And what will be the main benefactor of this new foundation? A scholarship fund, to pay for the college education of the dozens of displaced journalists across America losing their jobs everyday (like here and here). And if there's any cash left, how about building a retirement home for any newspaper folks who might somehow see a diminished pension down the road?"

Progress, innovation, and economic evolution will always have a downside. It's a matter of economic Darwinism -- adapt or die. Throughout the 20th century that process has affected mostly blue collar industrial workers. But the rapid evolution of the Information Age has claimed victims in industries and careers that once seemed immune to such forces. Whether Will Bunch's comments are tongue-in-cheek or not, the point is that journalists have always been information workers, and the skills necessary for newspaper jobs can be readily applied to other jobs. This is a huge advantage over the blue collar workers who have lost their jobs first to automation and then to shifting economic forces. The white collar world didn't issue much of a protest when the factory jobs started to dry up. But when the economics of the Information Age began to take a toll on the white collar world, as is happening in the newspaper business, or among software developers, there was no shortage of angry voices.

It's all about adaptability, and about developing and maintaining skills that will remain relevant and marketable in a constantly changing world.

No comments: