Last week, the Salt Lake Tribune cut their newsroom staff from 90 to 56 and announced they will stop publishing statewide news sections and reduce content in other sections. The Denver Post announced they will drop 30 positions. The Boston Herald recently went from 240 employees to 175. The reduction of reporters is a trend that has been going on since the digital became ascendant.
In 2000, there were 65,900 reporters in the United States, but by 2015, there were 45,800 reporters and their salaries had cumulatively diminished over those years to fall behind the inflation rate. Take broadcast reporters out of the equation, and pay for reporters is below the national average. The decline in job numbers fell mostly on the newspaper side, but local radio also took a big hit.
PIOs occasionally ask me for advice. Even if they don't ask, here's the advice I give in part or whole to those who may want to stand up in front of a group or do media interviews:
1. Be true to yourself. The easiest way to lose credibility is to pretend to be someone else. People will know right away. As Oscar Wilde said, “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
2. Be humble. The ancient Greeks wrote a lot about hubris for a reason.
3. Be honest. Albert Einstein's quote applies to our work: “Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.”
It comes from our very first comment ever and was offered by Dean Siebold in response to this post. Says Dean:
Welcome to the Anchor Point Blog, by me, Jim Whittington, of Whittington & Associates, LLC which is on www.incident-service.com. Whew. There will be regular guest bloggers too. I bet you can guess their names.
This blog will discuss IMT dynamics, leadership, incident information, crisis communications, risk communications, media issues on incidents, NWCG and FEMA training, emergency management, academia, wildland fire, and other directly or tangentially related topics. There might even be posts that are not related at all. Here’s some other admin stuff:
Occasional thoughts on incident response, crisis communications, wildland fire, and other topics.
Docendo disco, scribendo cogito.
Copyright © Jim Whittington, 2019.