It’s back to school season, which means there will be a lot of journalism students sitting around debating how to best make money doing it. We just can’t stop wondering or examining how it’s all changed. The discussion isn’t just happening in ivory towers, either. In the past week, current journos and editors at large have been pondering it as well:.
- David Plotz took to to his Twitter feed to tweet out all of the options. Then, he did the right thing and just compiled them into this post on Slate. What’s interesting is how 2014 compares to 1998. He could only think of five good ways to raise money — banner ads, being the biggest earner. Now? With membership models like Slate’s Plus, podcasts and conferences, things are just more complicated, but hardly as bleak.
- Clay Shirky paints a broader picture over at Medium of the end of print and how to save your salary. His take? Accept and move on. And specialize:
The death of newspapers is sad, but the threatened loss of journalistic talent is catastrophic. If that’s you, it’s time to learn something outside the production routine of your current job. It will be difficult and annoying, your employer won’t be much help, and it may not even work, but we’re nearing the next great contraction. If you want to get through it, doing almost anything will be better than doing almost nothing.
- If I were running a journalism classroom, first day required reading would be this piece on Time Inc. from the most recent New York on how Time is trying, desperately, sometimes randomly, to save itself. If anything, it could be a tale of too little, too late. From the piece:
Will all of this be enough? Recently announced second-quarter results show print-ad revenues having declined by another six percent and newsstand revenue down 13 percent. Digital-ad revenues jumped 12 percent, to $74 million, but the dollars are minuscule for a company that generates $3.4 billion in total revenue and reportedly could pay up to $50 million in annual debt service. Even if all of Time Inc.’s strategies in video, apps and conferences take hold, it’s hard to imagine they’ll generate the profits its shareholders expect. Meanwhile, the rumor mill churns: Is [CEO Joe] Ripp planning to sell off the Alabama-based Southern Progress titles? Will Entertainment Weekly move entirely online? Even [CCO Norman] Pearlstine was taken aback by the state of the business when he returned. “I called up John Huey and said, ‘Jesus, it was fine when I left,’ ” Pearlstine tells me.
What are your must reads on the state of the industry? Let us know in the comments or @10,000Words.