In 2005, for every one digital-only journalist, there were 20 newspaper journalists. In 2015, for every one digital-only journalist, there were four newspaper journalists.
In 2005, there were 69,900 journalists employed in these two industries. In 2015, there were 51,980, a decline of 26 percent. As a result, Americans have fewer journalists to provide news information.
In this economic environment, greenlighting time-consuming, in-depth reports that may get less traffic than lighter-fare articles has become increasingly rare. A recent report by Mother Jones in which a senior reporter worked four months as a corrections officer exemplifies this tension. The massive 35,000-word report exposed corruption in private prisons but conservatively cost $350,000 to produce and only brought in $5,000 in banner ads.