When television breaks most of the news, when mobile phones send you instant news alerts, when websites are constantly updating news, when there is a good chance that news will soon be allowed on FM radio, what is a newspaper supposed to do?
To ask the question in another way: What does a newspaper reader expect from her newspaper at 7 am when she could have got everything from the television bulletin at 7 pm the previous day?
This is an old question, no doubt, but newspapers in Britain and America are coming to terms in different ways. The Daily Mail has just got rid off its television critic. Another paper has got rid of its movie critic. Somewhere else, a sports writer has been replaced.
Lucas Grindley writes that the reason is that they not local, and newspapers, at their essence, must be local.
Local film critics for national movies are a vestige of different times. For most markets, there’s no local angle to Mission Impossible 3. Maybe you’re the film critic. Don’t wait around for this same fate. Convince your editor to use wire copy so you can cover something else.
Sports writers, listen up. If you’re not writing something more than the game story, then you’re next. An editor can get that same gamer from the wire.
Features writers, if what you’re covering is on the wire regularly, then your beat isn’t local enough. Food is a national topic. Travel is a national topic.
Business writers, you’re not immune either. Prominent media types are already advising newspapers to “outsource” all types of coverage.
Death by a thousand cuts. Don’t let positions get cut because you didn’t have enough foresight to realize they were being wasted.