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As mass media evolves into “masses of media”, what are the implications for our health?

Melissa A Sweet and Margaret J Simons
Med J Aust 2009; 191 (11): 618-619.
Published online: 7 December 2009

New forms of journalism offer opportunities and pitfalls for health

Newspapers and other forms of “old” media face an uncertain future because of withering traditional revenue streams, rising new media technologies, and changing audience expectations. Comparisons have been drawn between the demise of the Roman Empire and that of modern media empires.1 To date, the collapse has been most evident in the United States, where, between 1 January 2008 and 15 September 2009, 46 599 jobs in the journalism industry were lost and 201 media outlets closed.2 The journalism industry lost jobs at almost three times the rate of other industries.2 The number of full-time journalism positions in Australia fell from 8500 to 7500 between 2001 and 2007,3 and more losses are expected (Jonathan Este, Director, Communications, Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance, 20 October 2009, personal communication).

  • Melissa A Sweet1
  • Margaret J Simons2,0

  • 1 Sweet Communication, NSW.
  • 2 Institute for Social Research, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, VIC.


Acknowledgements: 

Thanks to Professor Simon Chapman for commenting on an early draft.

Competing interests:

Melissa Sweet is paid for writing articles for Crikey and Inside Story, and her travel expenses for attending Foundation for Public Interest Journalism Board meetings are reimbursed. Margaret Simons receives a retainer from Crikey for writing about media issues. She receives freelance payments from Inside Story and other publications for writing about media issues.

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