This effect is not unique to the print industry. Economic pressures on broadcast journalism are creating the same "do more with less" business model. TV stations are looking for "backpack" or "one-man-band" journalists. Now a journalist is expected to shoot, edit, write and report an entire story on their own. It's difficult for one journalist to match the work that used to be done by a photographer, editor and reporter.
Meanwhile, many newspapers are adding video to their websites. But most traditional print journalists aren't trained in video, which is reflected in the product.
With both print and broadcast journalism looking to the Internet as the savior of their business and a portal to the next generation of journalism, the broadcast industry should have the advantage. You'd expect a TV station's online video to be of higher quality than a rookie print journalist's.
But the lower quality backpack journalist videos are less likely to out-shine a print journalist's video. With free access to the news websites, remember that the public then has lower expectations of quality. The result is that the playing field is leveled and both industries have a fair shake at winning the online audience.
Now, not all all backpack journalists produce poor videos. With journalism schools teaching the one-man-band style, the future quality of these videos will improve some. Likewise, not all print journalists produce amateur video. But the "do more with less" business model, as a whole, is negatively affecting both industries.
So is print journalism really dying? Is local TV news going the way of the dodo bird? Or is all of journalism just decaying slightly as it tries to evolve into a creature that is a little bit of print, a little bit of broadcast and has some new Internet genes?