Kiely's observation about the concentration of journalism jobs in just three places, striking as it is, misses an equally disheartening fact of life: Even in those places, the number of jobs has dwindled considerably, due primarily to circulation losses. The LA Times, one of the nation's great papers, is a shell of what it was in its halcyon days when it reached 1.2 million readers -- barely 700,000 print readers the last time I looked. It's still a great paper. But just a look at the repetition of bylines on significant stories suggests the constraints operating on the staff that remains.
The Daily News in New York, once the paper with the largest circulation in the United States with some 2 million readers a day, now puts papers in the hands of 200,000. Sure, both papers boast considerable online reach. But, as Kiely points out, that doesn't pay the bills the way print used to, even as expensive as print is.