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Le Figaro, France

Fewer Journalists
but Better Paid?

By Marie-Catherine Beuth

Translated By Cara Ceriani

30 January 2013

Edited by Vic­to­ria Denholm

France - Le Figaro - Original Article (French )

A study published by the American Association of Colleges and Employers at the beginning of the week reported that the salary of young American journalists is on the rise. According to Poynter, who released the report, the average salary of qualified young journalists has increased by 3.3 percent to close to $41,000 annually, compared to $39,600 last year. The rather high average has been driven in part by the securities of the East Coast, according to Poynter.

This good news, however, was short-lived and quickly overtaken by a more difficult and unfortunately more common reality of the profession. Several publications have just announced job cuts and that’s not all…

The New York Times will start with less job losses than expected and is quite happy with the number of voluntary redundancies which have arisen due to the January 24 plan. The website Capital New York gives details on who is going to go. It’s the fourth time in five years that the daily American newspaper has attempted a slim-fast cure.

At Reuters, 3,000 positions are going to be lost. There is a margin as Thomson Reuters employs around 50,000 people. It is expected to be primarily administrative and financial positions; however, experienced journalists are already on the way out.

Finally, Time group, publisher of Time magazine, Fortune and Sports Illustrated, has just announced that it will reduce its workforce (8,000 people) by "about 6 percent." Roughly 500 to 600 jobs are in the hot seat.

But behind these lay-offs, there are two major issues that have me asking questions.

1. The problem that will without a doubt concern us in the medium term is: What will be the impact on the content? The departure of senior journalists signifies the loss of experience and knowledge which may cost more than rebuilding. Alongside this, some topics may be under- or ill-treated. It leaves no more than a dozen writers assigned to cover ecology and the environment for the five top daily American newspapers and websites — and it's not as if current environmental issues were just space fillers.

2. Where will these journalists go now? They could join a pure player on the Internet, like Kickstarter, a new start-up rising from Silicon Valley which has attracted a former New York Times employee. Another talented editor of the newspaper joined the news site BuzzFeed. Another will strengthen the ranks of ProPublica. These transfers promise to strengthen digital players and thus increase competition for the giants of the ancient world.



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