Athens, OH – Dr. Hugh Martin presented at the SMART Dialogue Series April 5. Dr. Martin is a professor in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism with research focuses on the economics and management of the print and digital media industries. He is also the former co-editor of the Journal of Media Economics.

Dr. Martin discussed “News Employees in a Digital World: Notes toward Understanding Substitution Effects in Employment in News Industries,” a research study he is conducting with journalism master’s student Amelia Kibbe. This study aims to explain how changes in news consumption due to new media are affecting news organizations. The presentation displayed research showing that consumer and advertiser demands continue shifting to digital news sources. “Advertisers always follow consumers. This means they are leaving print consumers and following consumers online.”

Evidence of these changes, he explained, has forced news organizations like newspapers, cable news networks, and digital news firms to lay off employees. Dr. Martin presented data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics from 2006-2017 showing decline in journalism jobs at newspapers. There was also a rise in technology jobs at newspapers followed by a decline in those jobs.. The data also showed a steady rise in broadcast journalism jobs and an increase in broadcast TV technology jobs, as well an increase in journalism and technology jobs at other information services. Dr. Martin emphasized that news organizations must cut production and distribution costs to compete in digital markets.

Dr. Martin concluded that at newspapers, some technology jobs are a substitute for journalism jobs, and the demand for local news is associated with increased technology wages and increased reporter/editor jobs. However, these relationships are not strong enough to stop the decline in newspaper jobs. He also concluded that certain technology jobs can replace or compliment journalism jobs at other information services, and some demand for reporters is associated with demand for national news at other information services as well as editors for local news.

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By Alayna Hutchinson