Journos Losing Jobs at Three Times Rate of Average Workers

By: Mark Fitzgerald Since the financial meltdown began a year ago, journalism jobs have gone away at almost three times the rate jobs have disappeared in the general economy, according to a report by Unity: Journalists of Color.

Unity's 2009 Layoff Tracker Report shows an average 22% increase from month to month in journalism jobs lost from September 2008 through August 2009. The general economy lost jobs at an average monthly pace of about 8% during that time, according to Unity.

For journalism jobs, there were big monthly increases in job losses from the month before at periods coinciding with the close of a quarterly financial reporting periods.

News media, including newspapers, broadcast and digital, have shed 35,885 jobs since Sept. 15, 2008, according to Unity's tracking report. The great majority of jobs lost -- 24,511 -- were in newspaper and other print journalism, Unity said.

Since Unity began tracking job losses on Jan. 1, 2008, the news industry has shed 46,599 jobs, it said. Job losses were occurring at a fairly steady rate of about 1,000 a month starting in January 2008, and then accelerated, in December 2008 when 7,398 job disappeared, Unity said.

"The news industry has been hemorrhaging jobs long before the economic crisis began last year," Unity Executive Director Onica N. Makwakwa said. "These numbers confirm that the economic downturn has hit the news industry very, very hard."

Unity's Layoff Tracker project uses data from Securities and Exchange Commission filings, plus self-reported data from 1,101 print and broadcast media outlets. It includes jobs lost by attrition as well as by layoffs and buyouts.


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here