I’m writing about this just because I wanted to embed this video of one of my favorite Simon and Garfunkel songs.

Paul Bedard reports in the Washington Examiner, Study: Journalism grads don’t read newspapers, mags, books (via memeorandum):

The University of Georgia’s “Annual Survey of Journalism & Mass Communication Graduates,” which surveys J-School grads, their habits, salaries and the jobs they take, found that just one-third had read a newspaper the day before taking the survey. That’s a stunning drop from the 81 percent in 1994.

And in a clear sign of the times, three-quarters read news off the internet and many watched TV. And virtually all went on a social media website the day before taking the survey, which is a guide to how new journalists consume news.

The report begs the question: If today’s journalists don’t read print, why should those they are writing for read magazines and newspapers?

The headline is more provocative than the article. All the survey shows is that The Times, The Post, The Examiner et al. they are changing. The Washington Examiner, which currently publishes Bedard, reduced the frequency of its print edition from six days a week to once a week earlier this year. Three years ago, his former publication, U.S. News and World Report ceased publishing a print edition and went totally digital.

It isn’t like saying “I get all the news I need from the weather report,” it’s just acknowledging that more and more news is available online.

The last sentence of Bedard’s article is probably the most important. After noting that the average starting salary for a journalist is about $10,000 less than the average starting salary of college graduates in other fields, Bedard concludes:

Which may explain this statistic in the 75-page survey: Nearly 28 percent regretted their decision to go into journalism.

Could it be that years of shredding any sense of objectivity have taken their toll on the industry? Today’s journalists are more advocates than reporters. That’s why I stopped subscribing to newspapers. If I buy a newspaper now, it’s more likely to be for ads or coupons than for news.

If you make your living off the evening news, I can’t help you. I don’t watch that either.


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