Media economist Robert Picard, normally a serene voice on the challenges and dynamics of journalism, offers a fair dose of tough love in his latest post.
"Maybe it’s about time that journalists stop whining about their troubles and initiate some internal discussions about how their own newsrooms are structured and operated."
He takes the sword and swashbuckles through data suggesting there are far more, not far fewer journalists than there were three decades ago. What he doesn't perceive are generous helpings of high quality. Rather, the assignment of journalists is increasingly into coverage people don't argue they'd miss if lost --- in other words, things he thinks aren't essential at the expense of things he thinks are.
He takes the sword and moves it fairly close to personal vital organs in suggesting that not everyone has suffered equally in the business --- managers and supervisors haven't been cut to the degree reporters have, for instance.
I'd argue a couple of things back. What else might anyone expect?
First, structure and operation keep many of us awake by night and involved by day. It's wrong to assume anything but. Almost every newsroom I know has used opportunity --- or sudden drama --- to reorient roles, mandates, functions and content. You can argue with the outcome, but shouldn't suggest there isn't effort or a process.
Second, the manager/supervisor of today isn't anything like one from five, 10, 20 or 30 years ago. Most I know have reacquired duties they didn't think they'd ever perform again. I'm not the staunchest defender of managers, despite being one, but I think they're expected today to lead and participate in far flatter organizations with greater collaboration than ever.