Exploring Multi-Platform Journalism: Paper Cuts

So how bad is the newspaper lay-off situation in the United States? One look at Paper Cuts, a Multiplatform Journalism project from journalist Erica Smith, and you’ll be able to see the situation across the country is not good. Not good at all.

This semester at University, I am taking a Multiplatform Journalism class. For our first assignment, we were asked to find a good example of Multiform Journalism. My example would be the always interesting, yet depressing, Paper Cuts blog.

The site pulls together tweets, emails, blog posts, news articles, and various other social media platforms to keep track of newspaper lay-offs, buyouts, and closures in the United States. There is a map, too, color coded for the size of the lay-offs. Smith has counted about 42,000 jobs eliminated to date since she started the site 2007. Forty-two thousand people who have lost their jobs. Forty-two thousand workers less in newspapers around the country leading to more errors, more missed stories, and less quality in our morning papers. How many more jobs does the news industry have to lose? How many more people hurt?

Paper Cuts gives a holistic picture of this situation that a single format couldn’t achieve. The news articles give a great deal of information, but they don’t give the whole story. The map helps a viewer understand the whole scope of the situation, but it causes one to lose sight of the human aspect. The tweets from those affected bring the individual and human aspect back into perspective, but often ignore how widespread the lay-offs are. Together, the different formats give a whole picture, a better picture.

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