Over the last few years, thanks to the global economic crisis – encapsulating everything from the 2008 housing crash to today’s ongoing euro zone sovereign-debt debacle – much ink has been spilled about the reshaping of the world’s economy, especially about the domestic job market.
Actually, scratch part of that last sentence, because less ink has been spilled, at least according to the results of a recent report by LinkedIn. The media business has been in overdrive, especially during this 2012 election season, but it’s now pushing pixels, not paper.
According to the data studied by LinkedIn, the professional social network, the newspaper industry experienced a 28.4 percent shrink rate between 2007 and 2011. The death of newspapers is not exactly a new phenomenon, so I’ll spare you yet another detailed recap of the print and economic climate that led to this broadsheet apocalypse.
But contrast newspapers’ huge drop with the gain experienced in the second-fastest-growing industry, according to the same LinkedIn data: online publishing. New-media companies posted a staggering 24.3 percent gain, coming in only behind the “Internet” overall. Look at the chart below and compare the green online publishing dot with the red newspaper dot.
In other words, reports of the media’s death are premature, at best. But more important, it’s unfair for any old-media advocate to say that the revenue model for media (or any industry moving toward digital) is broken. Yes, the companies and publications that power media look quite different than they used to, but these news organizations are still reporting the news.