Over the past 10 years, the number of mainstream journalists’ jobs in the UK has shrunk by a third (source: Francis Nel, University of Central Lancashire). Jobs gone between 2007 and 2009: 9,500. Jobs remaining: maybe 40,000. Not happy reading if you’re one of the 8,000 or so would-be journalists who graduate every year.
So the reaction (Broadcast, 8.10.10) to culture secretary Jeremy Hunt’s proposal for a network of local TV stations in the UK is staggering. This is a proposal that, over the years, would create hundreds of new jobs throughout the UK. Yet one correspondent dismissed the initiative as “a waste of time and resources”.
Let me further spell out why she couldn’t be more wrong.