Commentary

Journalists Rely On Food Banks, Part-Time Jobs To Make Ends Meet

Several reports this month again highlighted the plight of journalism in this country, as newsroom job cuts reach the highest levels since the last recession 10 years ago.

The most distressing story was a Columbia Journalism Review profile of Jon Kelvey, a reporter at the Carroll County Times in Maryland, who depends on local food banks to feed his family. Another story by Gerry Smith at Bloomberg News includes interviews with reporters who work as part-time bartenders or baristas to support their journalism habit.

Newsrooms shed almost one-quarter of their employees from 2008 to 2017, according to Pew Research Center — and that was before the loss of 3,000 jobs announced so far this year. The closure of 1,800 newspapers in the past 15 years has meant that half of U.S. counties are lucky if they have one newspaper.

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The reports confirmed the assessment that Glassdoor, the website that lets current and former employees review companies, provided about my job prospects. The site’s “know your worth” section said mine had declined in the past 30 days, maintaining a year-long trend in continual career depreciation.

Glassdoor said its information is based on about 2,500 salaries submitted by people like me in New York. More encouragingly, the site said there are about 11,700 open jobs in the region that match my profile.

That number seems high, although it does include editorial jobs in industries such as finance, healthcare, consulting and technology.

But I’ll keep the contact information for local food banks handy, just in case.

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