The revolution will cost people jobs

Jeff Jarvis appears to have the ear of Craig Newmark (of CraigsList fame). Craig’s getting involved in the citizen’s media movement, and Jeff is giving him his thoughts. This is an excellent combination, by the way, and fully expect to see this collaboration continue.

But Newmark’s enthusiasm comes with a threat to those involved in the news industry.

I just want to remind everyone that people’s jobs are involved, writers, editors, delivery people, PR people, and more.

When an industry goes through a major shift, sometimes people lose jobs.

I don’t have anything smart to suggest, except that news professionals starting looking hard at the blogging phenomenon, and try to get ready.

It’s hard to say if this is fully warranted, but I tend to agree that the communications revolution will end up costing a great many people their jobs. I also think retraining IS the answer. Remember, this is the guy who has — single-handedly — almost destroyed the newspaper industry’s classifieds business.

Meanwhile, Jeff continues to stir things up on this topic over at

I gave my blogboy presentation to a bunch of strategic guys at a certain major mass media company (not my employer’s) the other day and said that the mass market was dead, to be replaced by the mass of niches, and the young MBAs in the room screeched as if I’d goosed them. Fine, I said, imagine that things won’t change and others will come along and eat you up bit by bit. You’ll still be there, but you’ll have new competitors and your growth will be gone.

The business of news is changing and anyone with an ounce of sense knows that. And many in the business fret about how we are going to be able to support quality journalism; it’s a real worry.

I agree with Jeff that citizens media is part of the solution, not the problem, and that the sooner MSMers adapt to this, the better. “The news business is unquestionably changing,” Jeff says, “but it’s not necessarily for the worse. There are more news outlets; I believe that in aggregate, people will consume news more; and there are new efficiencies and new opportunities. It may not be an easy road to get there, that’s all.” Amen.


  1. thanks! but I realized the job thing just upon reflection on talking with journalist friends.

    Jarvis is really good, might see him tomorrow.


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