Amid concerns about the dire condition of newspapers and the expansion “news deserts” throughout the country, there are also signs of strength in the publishing industry as it becomes more
Total employment in news and information publishing has grown in the past decade as traditional media companies expand their online operations and digital startups
proliferate, according to a study of the economic effects of the internet by the Interactive Advertising
News and information companies last year employed 142,000 workers, a 73% jump from 2016, the last time the IAB published estimates of internet-related jobs.
The publishing categories include workers for legacy media organizations such as Gannett, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Thomson Reuters and Bloomberg News.
The IAB also surveyed employment at digital-first media companies that include BuzzFeed, Vox Media and Insider Inc. — along with the digital media brands that Red Ventures has
acquired, such as CNet, ZDNet and Bankrate.
Beyond those categories, the IAB also looked at internet employment growth for media companies whose roots were either in print
publishing or broadcasting. These “multi-genre and multi-platform” companies not only include Disney, ViacomCBS and Sony, but also Hearst, Advance Publications, IAC/InterActiveCorp. and
Meredith. (IAC’s digital media arm this month announced plans to buy Meredith.)
Noting that “online publishing is dynamic,” the IAB said the industry
“is growing at an accelerating rate, both as traditional publishing firms go digital and as new pure digital firms enter.”
The biggest area of internet-related
growth is coming from traditional media companies pushing into digital platforms, the report said.
“It may be the future of publishing lies with firms from the mold of
BuzzFeed and Red Ventures, but that is not how it looks today,” according to the IAB. “Incumbent traditional firms across segments as different as Disney, News Corp. and The
New York Times are adapting with dexterity.”