Is it time to say RIP for journalism?

Reading time: Just over 1 minute

In Canada, at least, the end of journalism seems very near….

The metropolitan daily newspaper that gave me my first job as a senior editor is going to merge with its rival, it was announced this week. The Vancouver Sun will be sharing its newsroom with The Province. Similar mergers will take place in three other Canadian cities, and a total of 90 jobs will be lost across the newspaper chain.

I haven’t subscribed to my old newspaper for about seven years now. The quality had declined significantly with earlier layoffs and I decided to switch to a national newspaper instead. I’m probably unusual in that I read a newspaper — the old-fashioned way, getting ink on my hands —at all.

Still I feel badly for the journalists still working at the Sun, particularly those young enough to still need a job 20 years from now. The newspaper chain is apparently going to offer buyouts, so older journalists, particularly ones who worked there for a long time, can likely get enough cash to bridge themselves through to retirement.

Those of us in the newsroom back in the early 1980s used to joke about how journalism was becoming a job like lamp-lighting or being an elevator operator — something quaint, old-fashioned and unnecessary. Now, we’re at the point where the joke has become real. I would never advise any young person to even try to become a journalist because it’s such a rare and unusual job — like an astronaut or a pearl diver.

If you have the itch to write, look towards other industries. The job will go by different names: communications, public affairs, marketing, blogging. The good news is other industries will likely treat you better than the newspaper industry ever did. Famous for its hard drinking, poor managing ways, journalism wasn’t ever much good at mentoring young people.

But it was an exciting field in which to work — filled with quirky, interesting people — and I still miss it. RIP daily newspapers.

Scroll to Top


"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.