The news industry is at once shrinking yet expanding…but in the expansion, there’s a catch. The expansion is in online news…where everything is about speed, hits and the need to constantly update — not necessarily inform. This piece in the New York Times is an excellent warning about the effect this is having on media workers — early burnout.
Reporters are being measured by simple output — which is assessed by “most viewed” lists on home pages. Pay is based on how many readers click on your article. What kind of world is this? One that burns out its young, apparently.
When digital technology turned our work into “multi-platform” and the distinctions between online, TV and radio were erased….most of our jobs morphed dramatically. We are expected to do it all, on many services and media, twitter/blog about it and do it five minutes faster than the competition. Workload has become the main issue for employees, far outpacing compensation. Looks like the treadmill will only move faster — before anyone has time to think about the effects on our industry — and those of us who work in it — as a whole.