5 Dying Media Jobs

A photo of a man standing with a large TV studio camera
TV studio cameras aren't becoming obsolete, but the people running them are endangered. Photo © ColorBlind Images / Getty Images

New types of media jobs are being created all the time, usually because of breakthrough technology or shifting consumer demands. But left behind are 5 media jobs that are in danger of becoming extinct.

TV Studio Camera Operator

Robotics and automation are combining to make a TV studio camera operator unnecessary in many local TV stations and even at the broadcast network level. The cost of the technology has dropped to the point that it's cheaper than paying salaries and insurance for a team of people.

Computer-operated cameras have also become much more reliable. They produce consistent camera shots without the human error factor.

The best way studio camera operators can justify their existence is by concentrating on productions that need a real person at the controls. While a TV newscast uses the same camera shots day after day, sports, cooking segments and other productions that require the camera to follow the action will mandate that a person can see what's happening and keep it in the frame.

TV News Photographer

A TV news photographer who goes out to the scene to capture video is also becoming a dying breed. But unlike the case of studio camera operators, it's not because of robotics or automation.

Instead, technology has advanced so much that field cameras have become smaller, lighter weight and easier to use. As a result, many TV stations and networks simply have a TV news reporter shoot video while also gathering information.

These reporters who also shoot video are commonly called VJs (video journalists), MMJs (multimedia journalists) or one-man-bands. News organizations can cover more ground faster by sending one person to a scene, rather than two, because that second person can be sent somewhere else.

Radio Announcer

Technology is also changing the role of a radio announcer.

While many radio stations themselves are struggling with changing radio demands, some are finding it easy to cut costs by dropping the traditional disc jockeys of days gone by.

Syndicated programming can be purchased to fill air time. Much of the remaining schedule can be handled through voice-tracking. That's when an announcer pre-records a show that may sound live to listeners, but was put together hours, if not days in advance.

Most of the top-rated stations in a city still retain their live announcers, at least in the all-important morning and afternoon drive times. But when a four-hour radio show can be pre-produced in less than 30 minutes through computer playlists, it's tempting to lay off full-time DJs.

Newspaper Classified Advertising Staff

With many newspapers suffering a decline in readership, selling newspaper advertising is becoming more of a challenge. That's especially true when it comes to classified ads.

It wasn't long ago that newspaper classified ads were where people turned to sell their car or look for a new puppy. But with so many online choices such as eBay or Craigslist, turning to a newspaper seems so limiting for people looking to buy or sell.

Those classified ads were a steady revenue stream for most papers.

With that resource slowly drying up, classified ad sales staff members would be wise to hone their skills in a new direction, even if that means leaving the newspaper industry.

Local TV Sportscaster

The job of TV sportscaster is becoming endangered in some local DMAs. This is due to shifting consumer interests.

In some major league cities, sports fans can get all the scores and information they need through ESPN or other national sources. A local station simply can't match it. But the city is too large for a station to focus on high school sports because there are too many teams to cover.

That's leading some stations to cut back on the sports departments that have been a part of local coverage for generations. But stations that invest money and time covering sports in a different way than just showing scores and highlights can still build viewer loyalty and bigger Nielsen ratings.