Associated Press Looks to Trim Staff

The loss of advertising is placing enormous stress on newspapers. It is impacting on one of the world’s premier news gathering agencies, Associated Press (AP):

” The Associated Press plans to cut up to 10 percent of its workforce in 2009, according to sources at the news service, as it copes with tough financial times and ailing member newspapers.

The AP has one of the world’s largest news-gathering teams, employing about 3,000 journalists, and a total of about 4,100 people worldwide. The cuts could amount to about 400 employees.”

link: Associated Press to cut 10 pct jobs in ’09-sources

The support staff is essential to good reporting. One of the speculated paradigms is that, for local newspapers and perhaps large organizations like Associated Press and Reuters, there will be a continuing shift to freelancers. This removes the obligation for these organizations to provide employee benefits and managed retirements. The newspaper industry is seeking ways to compete with the internet. When established publications like National Geographic turns to video games, it portends a re-thinking of traditional journalism.

Catherine Forsythe