Posted by NBC News on Monday, October 05, 2019 05:21:25More than a decade after the first press enterprise, the press is still struggling to find its footing.
In 2016, a massive wave of retirements, layoffs, and job cuts rocked the industry, and while the sector is now back to its pre-financial crisis norm, it still has work to do to make the future workable.
As press and news outlets seek to diversify their workforce, the companies that make them have a lot to answer for.
“The media companies have created a press enterprise that’s in desperate need of some serious soul searching,” said Chris Stirewalt, executive vice president of industry analysis at the Associated Press.
“The press enterprise needs to get back to basics.”
Stirewelts organization polled media companies in 2018 to figure out how they are handling the aging industry.
The results are not encouraging.
The majority of the surveyed media companies say they don’t see press organizations growing at all.
They also don’t know how to make money.
For example, according to Stirewallts research, 75% of those surveyed said they aren’t seeing enough income from their media companies, and 61% say they are losing money on their media operations.
They are also worried about their future.
“I worry that we’ll be looking for the next bubble, not the next press enterprise,” Stirewalts said.
Stirewallt said the media companies need to look at their business model, which he said includes paying reporters and editors to cover the news.
“This is the new media,” he said.
“It’s a whole new thing, a whole different business model.”
In fact, a study conducted by the Pew Research Center found that the average media company is losing more than $600 million per year, with the median loss being $1.8 million.
StireWall said that’s not good enough for many media companies to survive in a difficult economic climate.
“This is a time when it’s hard to make good on the investments that you need to make in your news operations,” he explained.
“That means you need a media enterprise that can actually survive.”
Storewallts report comes as a few of the biggest news organizations are considering relocating to more lucrative markets in North America.
The AP is among those that have been moving out of New York, and the Washington Post is moving to Texas, which is facing a budget crisis.
But Stirewan says that won’t change until the companies are able to start earning money again.
The press is struggling to compete in a world that is changing rapidly and the media needs to adapt to the times.
“If you’re in the news business, you need people to be paying attention,” he added.
“And if you’re not paying attention, then you can’t compete.”