Future of Journalism Not as Bleak as Feared

   James O’Shea   

The future of journalism jobs is better than most people fear, according to Jim O’Shea, co-founder and editor of the Chicago News Cooperative, a nonprofit news gathering organization that provides content to the New York Times and subscribers. 

Speaking to a Chicago gathering of Arthur Page Society members last night, Jim confirmed growing sentiment that most daily newspapers will eventually go away.  They’ll be replaced by a handful of national papers and local news websites.  Production and delivery costs are creating the downward plummeting of traditional newspapers, and Jim predicts home delivery of major papers will move from daily to a few days a week before stopping altogether. 

Despite this bleak report, Jim was surprisingly bullish on the future prospects of journalism jobs.  He cited organizations such as the Chicago News Cooperative and other online news sources, including blogs.  Growth plans for the Chicago News Cooperative eventually could rank it as the top news organization in Illinois. 

Jim also has excellent advice for those interested in pursuing journalism careers:

“If you have a passion for news, stick with it.  Get experience.  Learn how to write.  Focus your attention on being a good story teller, and tell those stories fairly, accurately and not misleadingly.”


Many newspapers around the world are rapidly building their online presence, and bloggers are filling news and information voids of dwindling newspaper staffs.  The Chicago Tribune’s fast-growing blog community, ChicagoNow, celebrated its first birthday last week.  Some 300 bloggers now post more than 150 entries every day.  The Tribune pays their bloggers for local hits.  Although no one will get rich from their posts, the bloggers are gaining experience and building their personal brands that likely will open other opportunities.  ChicagoNow has partnered with several local news organizations and has engaged journalism students at Columbia College and DePaul University, all of whom are helping build a robust news and information source. 

1 comment on this post.
  1. Bruce Harrison:

    What a refreshing development! Thanks for this story, Ron Culp…which I haven’t seen anywhere else. I’m tweeting it to my followers, among whom are young people with writing talent!

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