Should the media industry value its wallet more than its journalists?
In light of the global recession, many media outlets around the world are scaling back on "extraneous" spending. Trainings, conferences and seminars are being removed from news organizations' budgets, while fewer journalists are seeking outside training for fear of missing work and losing their jobs.
U.S. journalists are finding it more difficult to get permission to participate in international fellowships and exchanges, even when there is no cost to the news organization, said Patrick Butler, vice president of programs at the International Center for Journalists. "These opportunities can really enrich both the journalist and the news organization," he said. "But many journalists tell us that they can't apply. In these times of shrinking news staffs, the bosses say they can't spare anybody, even when the journalist will be producing stories on the fellowship or exchange."
At the same time, with the industry evolving at a rapid pace, journalists need to be trained and re-trained now more than ever to sustain a healthy and high-quality global journalism environment.
How are your editors reacting? At a time of rapid change and dwindling budgets, do you think it is more important for organizations to keep their budgets tight or to keep journalists sharp and up-to-date?