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Dying might be too strong, but an industry in recession would not be an exaggeration. Data suggests traditional news outlets have not yet reinvented themselves sufficiently within the evolving sphere of Internet and social media news services to recapture the revenue stream the industry once derived from largely print media.

  • According to the latest data from the Pew Research Center, weekday newspaper circulation fell by seven percent year-over-year in the fourth quarter of 2015 while Sunday circulation dropped by four percent over the same period, the greatest decline for each since 2010. 
  • The decline in circulation caused the revenue of American newspaper publishers to slump by 35 percent in 2016 after a 30 percent drop in 2015, according to the US Census Bureau. 
  • Likewise, in 2016, publishing and printing companies from the Forbes' World's Biggest Public Companies list, including Thomson Reuters and RR Donnelley & Sons, experienced declining revenue.

As went revenue in print media, so did total employment in newsrooms. The same report from the Pew Research Center shows that overall newsroom employment in the US declined 10 percent in 2014—the most recent year for which data is available—to 32,900 employees. Over the decade from 1994 and 2014, total newsroom employment has decreased by roughly 21,000 people or 39 percent.

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