Creative Destruction in the News

From Michael Mandel who notes:

According to data from The Conference Board, the number of want ads for news analysts, reporter, and correspondents more than doubled from early 2010 to today! Moreover, it is noteworthy that the BLS annual series show a 25% gain in the number of working journalists from 2009 to 2012 (not shown on chart)

Now, let’s be realistic. I’m not saying that the true demand for journalists doubled between the beginning of 2009 and today, although given that no one was hiring in the depths of the recession, that statement might be literally true. In fact, the help-wanted series is an example of naturally-generated ‘big data’, meaning that it can be affected by changes in business practices, such as the way jobs are posted. The nature of journalism jobs may also be changing.

However, there seems little doubt that technology and innovation in journalism is creating new jobs in different industries even as the old companies and old industries are being undermined. I’m pretty sure that jobs at Politico are not being reported in the same industry as jobs at the Washington Post, even if Politico hires a WaPo reporter to cover more or less the same things.

As innovation accelerates, we’ll see more examples of this kind of divergence: Declining old industries, growing new jobs.


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