It’s getting tougher to find (old) media jobs

The job market for graduating journalism and communications graduates has stalled, according to the latest Annual Survey of Journalism & Mass Communication Graduates conducted by the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia.

Graduates of U.S. journalism and mass communication programs confronted a weakened job market in 2006 and early 2007, as the recovery that began only two years earlier stalled. Graduates were no more likely to have a job offer when they finished their studies than graduates a year earlier and no more likely to have landed a full-time job by the end of October–approximately five months after leaving the university. Salaries for graduates with full-time jobs did increase and even managed to outpace inflation just slightly. Benefits, however, showed a marked decline.

Benefits are down, because half of those who got jobs are working less than 40-hours a week, a reflection of, among other things, the need of media companies to keep costs down. Another portion of the study is worth noting here:

Graduates find themselves in jobs where work involving the web is a quite prominent part of the routine. Graduates use the web to obtain materials for the various types of reports they produce. And they use the web to distribute the materials they produce. The field has become more web centered in recent years, and it will almost certainly become even more so in the future.

This is in sharp contrast to a report in Inside Higher Ed stating that “journalism education is lagging behind industry in embracing the new media technologies that students will need to be competitive in the work place.”

My advice to college students always is to “go forth and make media.” Get in the game and see what happens. Don’t give up on that “real” job (I hate that concept), but use your time to build your portfolio by participating in the net revolution.


  1. Hi Terry…the recport in Inside Higher Ed had an interesting comment regarding the attitudes of journalism students which may not be all that off the mark. I encountered a resistance to new media (blogging, etc) from an undergrad when we had a discussion at the New England News Forum in the spring. Thing is, young people may not understand the new media landscape quite the way many think they do. Remember, they come at new media via social networking, and supposedly do not “read” news online. They might aspire to go into print or broadcast–are, like the report mentioned–have ideas of being in either newspapers or broadcast. They simply do not know what’s going on, and maybe those in academia aren’t challenging their worldview. Maybe some can’t (for tenure reasons)–maybe some don’t want to (due to their own lack of experience and prejudice against it.)

    However, you might find it interesting that Jay Rosen recommended me to speak to Phil Meyer’s journo grad seminar at the U of NC in September on what it takes to do “crowdsourced” journalism. I’m very honored both by the recommendation and by the offer. I mentioned to Phil that I want to speak a bit about the importance of connecting and conversing with people in online environments–and he thought this was great! It will be fun to introduce his class to the concept, and to see where they’re at with interacting. After all, journalism–both print and broadcast–may require dealing with “the people” who inhabit the world online. And we all know that we’ve got our quirks 🙂

  2. Quirks, indeed.

    Interesting comment, Tish. I think we honestly have a failure to communicate here, because the profs who teach the old school are among the most attached to its paradigm. The real world of news (what is that anymore?) is not sending a strong enough message to the schools, who are predisposed not to hear it anyway.

    And the kids? You’re right. They aren’t paying attention to what’s taking place, because they don’t have a stake in it yet.


  1. […] It’s getting tougher to find (old) media jobs. Related to the above, Terry Heaton combines the missing training with news of a tightening job market for j‑school grads. […]

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