The Value Of Journalists And Newsrooms

A couple of interesting links I wanted to share. First up, Michael Arrington, editor of TechCrunch, expresses mild shock that AOL now has 500 full-time writers and 1,500 freelancers pecking away for them. Arrington also ponders the economic value of journalists:

“I don’t really read the NY Times beyond the technology section. But I’m guessing that the top performers in the news room, say the best 5%-10% of the writers and editors, produce 50% or more of the real value of the newspaper. The hungriest reporters. The best writers. The most competitive and aggressive editors.
What if that group, the most valuable assets that the NYTimes controls, simply walked out of the building and started their own company? What would that look like?”

Scott Karp, of Publish 2.0, responded with, “Journalists Are News Companies’ Most Valuable Asset.” Karp writes:

But is Arrington right that media companies are blithely throwing away their most valuable asset? Why did newspapers make so many newsroom cuts on their path back to profitability? Is it because they don’t recognize the value of their journalists?”

Finally, Howard Weaver wonders (and hopes) that the recent positive financials issued by several newspaper chains is a sign that newsrooms are not quite so doomed as some predict:

“But I also argue, against a gale of internet triumphalism to the contrary, that the shift won’t (and shouldn’t) be immediate or total. Many of the people predicting the imminent death of printed news or counseling companies to shutter newspapers and spend all their money on the web are drinking their own bathwater. They have a vision – many times a clear and compelling vision – of what the shift to a digital, networked world will look like, but they’re in danger of leaping to conclusions that aren’t there.
I don’t believe untrained or unpaid volunteers alone can produce the kind of journalism on which democracy depends. I believe most people want and value good filters to separate signal from noise – and the best way we’ve ever found to do that is with professional journalists.”

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One Response

  1. Being a writer/journalist is a skillful profession. With every unique word they make up a inimitable articles. For some, being journalist is a poor job, and might always result into getting a <u>cash advances</u>, since without good article/write-ups means no money. The good thing about writer/journalist is making some points and views in what they see and believe in. Without them there will be no updates in what is really happening in our world. I also believe that words are more sharp than a the blades of sword and knife.

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