Woe-is-us journalists

Two recent articles by Jack Shafer, Slate’s editor-at-large, have bloggers buzzing about what he calls “the woe-is-us crowd of journalists.” Shafer argues that concerns American journalists have over shrinking newsrooms are unfounded. The first piece, “If You Don’t Buy This Newspaper … We’ll Shoot Your Democracy,” posted Oct. 23, says recent articles by Los Angeles Times‘ Tim Rutten and Washington Post‘s Howard Kurtz overstate the impact of cutbacks in newsrooms. Shafer’s second column, “Love Me, I’m a Journalist: A Profession’s Romance With Itself,” posted Oct. 25, suggests that cutbacks may be a natural progression in the journalism profession. Technological advances, especially the Internet, have decreased the amount of reporting necessary to file a story.