What does it say about the state of journalism (and the newspapers business) when an award winning, 20-something is out of work? Adam Sulfridge, who was recently profiled by CBS 60 minutes, is that journalist. His efforts were instrumental in exposing big corruption in a small town along Kentucky’s southeastern border involving a good sheriff gone bad. Yet he is out of work.
Not all 20 somethings are without work, but according to a recent study half are under or unemployed. Many, like Adam, are eager, ambitious, and more than competent. The great recession, still working baby boomers, the nervousness in financial markets (hello Euro), and the changing nature of work are all likely factors for the abysmal job market.
Unfortunately for Adam, the newspaper businesses also has a lot of self inflicted wounds. Ad and subscription revenues are shrinking faster than they can be replaced by online and new media efforts. Craigslist, Google Adwords, the Huffington Post, and others have all but killed the economics of printing and delivering pulp. The silver lining, if there is much of one, is that both journalists and media
If only government policies would catch up to mitigate risk (health and financial) that keeps entrepreneurship relegated to the risk averse fringes. Perhaps a few practices from Isreal or Denmark could kickstart a new employment revolution for the out-of-work, yet capable masses. businesses have been forced to think and act in a more entrepreneurial way. The New York Times R&D lab is a positive adaptation to find technologies and revenue replacing models for the future.