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Industries & Professions /
Newspapers and Magazines
The newspaper and magazine publishing industries work to inform the public about current events. Newspapers provide details, explanations, and interpretations in all subjects, or beats, including local and national politics, crime, entertainment, sports, and international affairs, among others. Many magazines meet similar needs for readers but also may serve special interests or unique segments of populations.
Computer technology and the Internet have had a dramatic effect on the newspaper and magazine industries by enabling reporters and writers to research information and confirm, write, and transmit stories faster, by reducing or eliminating the time between the occurrence of a news event and making the information available for the public to read. Most newspapers and magazines also now maintain extensive Web sites that provide some or all of the information that appears simultaneously in print versions. Some magazines, such as Newsweek, and increasingly newspapers, for example the Seattle-Post Intelligencer in Seattle, Washington, have abandoned their print versions and publish solely on the Internet.
Technology has also created new competition for traditional news publications. Social media, such as Twitter, often breaks news tweeted by eyewitnesses before reporters can gather their facts and file a story.
Many jobs in these industries are similar. Newspapers and magazines all employ staff writers, editors and copy editors, photographers, marketing and sales personnel, graphic artists and designers, and freelance writers, editors, and photographers, among others to provide all the content that appears on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, depending on the print schedule of the publication. With digital versions either replacing or being offered in addition to print versions of publications, there is demand for employees with skills specific to online applications, from sales and marketing to editorial and production.
Despite the need, finding a job on a daily newspaper has become increasingly difficult. The number of daily newspapers has decreased steadily over the years, due in part to growing competition from the Internet, television, and radio, but also because corporate mergers and increased efficiency of publishing operations also has resulted in a need for fewer employees. The best employment opportunities in the coming decade may be found on newspapers, both dailies and weeklies, in smaller towns and suburbs.
The magazine industry is predicted to experience a similar decline through 2024. As more and more specialized publications are introduced to the marketplace, the competition for advertising dollars will remain great. It is estimated that the primary growth in the magazine industry will come from publications that target specialized audiences as the demand for specialized information, typically provided by some magazines, increases. Most of this information, however, will be provided entirely on the Internet rather than in print. British and North American magazine publishers expect to make at least 20 percent of their revenue from digital platforms within the next five years.
The outlook for magazine writing and editing jobs is expected to be highly competitive. Opportunities will be best in firms that prepare business and trade publications and in technical writing. A growing demand for publications and the growth of advertising and public relations agencies also should provide new jobs in the magazine industry. Employees that have the right balance of digital skills and knowledge of the editorial process will have the best chances of landing a position in the competitive field.
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