Detroit news leaders told a National Press Club audience that they are doing their best to cover the auto industry crisis, but their staffs are under tremendous pressure.
Changes in technology are providing new ways to reach people, they said, but the demands the technology is putting on reporters are burning them out. And, the panelists said, they worry about which news organizations can survive a long-term economic downturn.
“Does it cause a strain? You know it does,” said Jonathan Wolman, editor and publisher of the Detroit News, said of covering the automobile industry crisis with a smaller staff. “The dominance this story has for our community can hardly be exaggerated. So we just keep throwing our folks into the fray.”
The automobile industry crisis is drawing more people to mainstream news media, the panelists said, but they also are demanding faster information.
“There’s an expectation from our readership that we give them news as we learn it,” said Omari Gardner, news editor for digital media at the Detroit Free Press. “It’s instantaneous, and it’s constant. We have never had better access to our community than we have now. And they have never had better access to us.”
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