Influence people

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

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Fifteen years ago, there were two flacks for every reporter. Today there are five.

"As the PR field flourishes, journalists are becoming a vanishing breed," says Mike Rosenberg in Ragan.com.

Searches on job sites for "reporter" and related keywords yield ads for openings "that have nothing to do directly with producing the news," Rosenberg says.

For every one opening for a reporter, a search yields 10 for candidates with journalism backgrounds or degrees willing to try PR.


It should come as no surprise—especially to acolytes of David Meerman Scott—brands are skirting the news industry to tell their own stories.

If you're not alarmed, fathom this: newspaper reporters are becoming extinct.

According to the American Society of News Editorsthe number of staff reporters has dropped 40 percent in eight years.

As every flack knows, newspapers are the starting point for the original coverage picked up by all the other media outlets.

"The drop in newspaper reporters means the amount of real news out there has taken a wallop," Rosenberg says.

The gap in original coverage means more "earned" and sponsored placements make their way to audiences. 

In other words: less news, more propaganda.

Rosenberg recently tweeted the stats.

David Simon, former Baltimore Sun reporter and creator of the HBO series "The Wire," retweeted Rosenberg's message, adding, "This is how a republic dies. Not with a bang, but a reprinted press release."

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