Friday, January 30, 2009

My Industry Is Hemorrhaging: Journalism Layoffs Eat Away at the Watchdog of Democracy

Of course, it’s not just those of us in journalism who feel the noose around our necks. The ripple effects of this economic apocalypse are hitting us all, across all industries, classes and demographics. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of unemployed in America has risen by 2.3 percent since the recession began in December 2007. In December 2008 alone, the unemployment rate rose from 6.8 to 7.2 percent—and this trend only seems to be gathering steam. What’s more, if there aren’t any journalists left to report these statistics—and more importantly, to document and report every step and misstep of our government, and every change in our economy, society and culture—then the fall-out could be even more nuclear.

Why? Because journalism is truly one of the last checks we have on democracy. We need air to breathe, food to sustain, friends for support, news to inform. Without access to information we’re powerless.

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