Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Journalism Jobs Continue Vanishing Act

Even as the local daily cleans out its newsroom (33 jobs most recently), the Pew Research Center continues to heap on the distressing news about the demise of the nation's newspapers.

Nationally, the numbers are numbing:
  • Photographers' (videographers and artists, as well) jobs, down 43 percent from 6,171 in 2000 to 3,493 in 2012, according to the American Society of Newspaper Editors.
  • Fulltime reporters' jobs down 32 percent from 25,593 to 17,422.
  • Copy editors, designers and even online producers down 27 percent, 10,901 to 7,980
I talked to a couple of classes of aspiring journalists at Ferrum a week or so ago and the kids who want to be journalists were confused and exasperated at my suggestion that newspapers are a dead body waiting to be buried. The rest of the message, however, is considerably more positive: newspapers are not journalism. They are a delivery system for journalism.

But even that--journalism, communications--is not a ripe peach of health. The worst degree from the standpoint of return on education is communications (reporter, copywriter, marketing coordinator), according to salary.com (here). The best jobs for those with a communications degree have nothing to do with journalism ( art directors, producers and directors, agents and business managers), according to careerpath.com (here).

As bleak as this sounds, let me state unequivocally that I cannot imagine having been happier or more fulfilled at any other career than the one I've had. If money is your motivator, go to health care, engineering or law. If you enjoy public service and your creative side, journalism is a good place to be.

(Graphic: kevin.lexblog.com)

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