Thousands of journalists out of work after closure of 200 media outlets in four years

Effects of crisis put pressure on an industry that is struggling to adapt to rises in digital technology

It has been a dark year for the Spanish press. The media in 2012 was hit hard by a double whammy: the ongoing economic global crisis and uncertainty in an industry that is still trying to grasp how to change its model to adapt to the rise in digital technology.

Since the beginning of the crisis in 2008, 6,393 media jobs have been lost in Spain with 197 outlets closed, according to the annual report on journalism compiled by the Madrid Press Association (APM).

Magazines have been the hardest hit, with 132 publications closed in the past five years, including Gala , Don Balón , Sorpresa , Zero , Ragazza and La Clave .

In addition, 22 newspapers have shut down, including the major daily Público , which is now only available on the internet. The "freebies" that have stopped printing and are no longer in circulation total 10, and they include the national editions of Metro, ADN and Qué!.

A large number of local newspapers, such as La voz de Asturias, El día de Albacete, El Mundo de Almería and El día de Guadalajara were unable to survive the crisis. In fact, Guadalajara is the Spanish province that has been worst affected by the downturn as it has been left with no local newspaper of its own.

Two dozen local television broadcasters have also faded to black for the final time and two agencies, Cover and Fax Press, have stopped their news and photo distribution services.

Since September 2011, the number of unemployed journalists has grown by 22.8 percent 

"Reality has overtaken us," said APM president Carmen del Riego, during the presentation of results that highlight the "dark outlook" that the journalism profession faces.

"If we insist on ignoring the situation, it would be like turning ourselves from reality and wanting to live in a world that is not, unfortunately, non-existent; we have had to suffer and find ways to reinvent a better future," the report's introduction reads.

The drop in advertising - which has fallen by 39 percent overall from 2007 to last year - has had the most impact on the employment of media professionals. Since September 2011, the number of unemployed journalists has grown by 22.8 percent, from 8,520 to 10,459 people, according to the APM report. And as APM director Luis Palacio pointed out, while 6,393 people have lost jobs in the industry since 2008, not all of them were necessarily journalists.

But looking at the numbers more closely, the amount of unemployed people who tick off "journalist" as their profession on their unemployment applications is even more startling. Up until September of this year, there were 27,443 unemployed people who identified journalism as their first-choice profession - almost three times more than those recorded up to the same month in 2011, when 9,937 identified themselves as jobless journalists.

Recomendaciones EL PAÍS
Recomendaciones EL PAÍS