July 28, 2015 Last Updated 8:02 am

ASNE census shows large job losses for US journalists, little progress in minority hiring

Morning Brief: About 3,800 journalist jobs lost in 2014; NYT continues clean up on Clinton email story sourced to… someone unnamed, again; Twitter earnings this afternoon

The good news, according to the 2014 annual census of US journalists working at newspapers, is that there are 32,900 full-time journalists still working in the US. The bad news, as you might guess, is that this is significantly fewer than were counted the year before. According to the report, released today by the American Society of News Editors and the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Florida International University, the industry lost 3,800 positions (see PDF table).

CDN-editThe report, besides a basic count of positions, also examines the racial make-up of newsrooms, and found that the industry failed to make much progress in hiring minorities. Minorities, the report found, make-up 12.76 percent of newsroom employees, about the same as the year before.

“The fact that our industry isn’t making progress continues to be frustrating,” said Karen Magnuson, editor of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle and co-chair of the ASNE Diversifying the News Committee. “As the makeup of our nation changes, our news reports must change, as well. Our newsrooms and coverage must be inclusive to tell the real story of what is really happening in our communities. How can we do that well if our newsrooms lack diverse voices and perspectives? We editors can and should do better.”

The New York Times is a stubborn beast, unwilling to change its policy of allowing anonymous sources to drive the news. The policy has bitten the newspaper many times but it will not learn. Yesterday the paper’s public editor was forced to once again help walk back a story that originated from an unnamed source.

NYT-MS-screenThe story, “Criminal Inquiry Sought in Hillary Clinton’s Use of Email,” quickly became a gift to talk radio and Fox News, and efforts to modify the story and its headline were seen as coming from pressure from the Clinton campaign rather than efforts to get the story right.

“So it was, to put it mildly, a mess,” wrote Margaret Sullivan.”As a result, I’ve been spending the last couple of days asking how this could happen and how something similar can be prevented in the future.

We got it wrong because our very good sources had it wrong,” editor Matt Purdy said. “That’s an explanation, not an excuse. We have an obligation to get facts right and we work very hard to do that.”

Apparently not hard enough.

As is usually the case with such blunders, the correction got much less space than the error:

An earlier version of this article and an earlier headline, using information from senior government officials, misstated the nature of the referral to the Justice Department regarding Hillary Clinton’s personal email account while she was secretary of state. The referral addressed the potential compromise of classified information in connection with that personal email account. It did not specifically request an investigation into Mrs. Clinton.

Econ-coverThe Economist yesterday released an update for its iOS app, bring the app up to version 3.1.6. The update involves extension support, something rarely mentioned by other media apps:

iOS 8 share extension support. Users on iOS 8 and above can now share articles to any app that supports share extensions, not just Facebook, Twitter and email. The format of sharing emails has also been simplified, allowing them to be edited more easily.

Twitter updated both its main iOS app, and also Periscope, its social video app.

Twitter reports earnings this afternoon after the close of the market. Twitter lost $162 million and had revenue of $436 million in its most recent quarter – will we see a major turnaround or more of the same. Meanwhile, investors will want to know what its plans are for naming new leadership following the departure of Dick Costolo last month.

  • Software_Developer 3 years ago

    I continue to be amazed at the number of journalist who refuse to accept the fact that the public is not going to support a profession which spends such a large percentage of its time borrowing our watch to tell us the time.

    Wasn’t it Mark Twain who said something to the effect, Don’t pick a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel.

    Maybe the the lesson the journalism community should have learned years ago is, Don’t discount a community that can multiply their skills by a million fold via the use of computer code and interconnected electronic networks.