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Survey of journalism job market in Sept-Oct 2010


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Overview of the journalism job market - where jobs are and what editors want to hire.
Based on a sample of 257 journalism job ads from USA, Canada, UK, Australia & New Zealand in Sept-Oct 2010.

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Survey of journalism job market in Sept-Oct 2010

  1. 1. What the editor wants<br />An international overview of the ‘journalism’ job market<br />Martin Hirst<br />AUT<br />December 2010<br />A presentation of recent, but brief, research into the job market for journalists in USA, Canada, UK, NZ & Australia – Sept/Oct 2010<br /> 21 September 2010<br />
  2. 2. What the editors want<br />Purpose of study<br />What types of jobs are out there?<br />Who’s hiring?<br />Who are they hiring?<br />Job description <br />duties, type of organization, platform,<br />Required & desirable skill-set<br />writing, reporting, editorial, web-related, video, audio,<br />Person statement<br />attributes, qualities of applicants<br />© AndreyTsidvintsev |<br />
  3. 3. Global data*<br />Platform + # of jobs<br />Countries + # of Jobs<br />* See appendix-slides for Country-by-country analysis <br />
  4. 4. [limited] data suggests print is still the dominant jobs platform <br />(newspapers & magazines, including trade + B2B)<br />PR, Wires, Private firms, Content makers, Media monitors, Freelancers and NGOs<br />
  5. 5.
  6. 6.
  7. 7. Australia<br />New Zealand<br />UK<br />Canada<br />Preliminary analysis shows strong resilience in print-oriented jobs.<br />This chart includes ‘newspaper’ and ‘magazine’ jobs. It does not include any print jobs in the ‘other’ category.<br />
  8. 8. Print still strong?<br />Magazines<br />Newspapers<br />USA – newspaper job ads still 47.6% of total jobs<br />New Zealand – newspaper jobs 28.6%<br />Australia – newspapers 22.2%<br />Canada – 13.9%<br />UK – newspapers 9.5%<br />UK – magazine jobs 41.3% of total ads [46% B2B titles]<br />Australia – magazines 33.3% [60% B2B titles]<br />New Zealand – magazines 23.8% [20% B2B titles]<br />Canada – magazine 18.6% [44% B2B titles]<br />USA – magazines 4.8%<br />
  9. 9. American newspapers<br />Newspapers, contrary to what is frequently alleged, are not dying in droves. <br />Only half a dozen of any size went out of business, and most of those were second papers in their market. <br />More papers, nearly 100, cut back at least one day a week, but most of those were very small.<br />Pew Center State of the media 2010<br />newsrooms have shrunk by 25% in three years, and just under 27% since the beginning of the decade<br /><br />
  10. 10. Canada is the real outlier here.<br />One conjecture on this is the vast scale of the country and the need to reach/cover remote places.<br />Canada<br />NZ<br />Australia<br />USA<br />UK<br />
  11. 11. What we have is a wipeout in newspapers, plus what looks like a combination of secular and cyclical declines in other “journalistic” industries.<br />Important caveats: We are working with blunt tools here.<br />Mike Mandel, September 2010<br /><br />
  12. 12. What the editors want #2<br />Help wanted:<br />work skills and attributes in journalism job advertisements<br />
  13. 13. General Reporter<br />excellent communication skills<br />strong organizational skills<br />knowledge of the basic fundamentals and ethics of news writing and editing<br />able to produce clear, concise copy<br />undergraduate or graduate degree in journalism or English<br /><ul><li>Full-time, general assignment reporter needed immediately for weekly newspaper near San Antonio.
  14. 14. Bring your enterprise and your energy to this highly competitive situation.
  15. 15. Photo skills a plus.</li></ul>assume that everyone's got basic reporting, text writing and copy editing, so those aren't listed as options <br />(Niles 2010)<br />
  16. 16.
  17. 17. Key skills<br />Writing highly regarded across all platforms, except radio<br />Newspapers, magazines, TV, online and ‘other’ required writing in over 60% of ads<br />Editorial & reporting skills 2nd rank<br />News judgment 3rd rank<br />
  18. 18. ATTITUDE, ATTITUDE, ATTITUDE<br />Key Attributes<br />Initiative<br />Qualification<br />Time management<br />Teamwork<br />Communication<br />Attention to detail<br />Leadership<br />We hired one individual who immediately began to give one of our veteran staff members a lecture about how he should be doing his job. GOODBYE! <br />Stan Stamper, publisherHugo Daily News, Oklahoma<br />Key attributes in journalism job ads ranked across all countries in the study<br />
  19. 19. Where are the jobs going to be?<br />In terms of jobs, journalistic occupations are outperforming the overall economy.<br />However, many of the journalistic jobs are not being created in conventional journalism industries.<br />Mike Mandel – The evolution of the journalism job market<br /><br />
  20. 20. Online jobs per country<br />A relatively small number of jobs are identified as specifically ‘online’.<br />Across all platforms, other job descriptions and identified duties can also include some form of ‘online’ component<br />USA Canada NZ UK Australia<br />
  21. 21.
  22. 22. CONVERGENCE EMBODIED<br /><ul><li>‘traditional news reporter role’
  23. 23. ‘twice weekly publication and in-house radio station’
  24. 24. ‘package information across a spectrum of mediums
  25. 25. ‘meeting & event coverage’
  26. 26. ‘assembling & producing daily newscasts and email blasts’
  27. 27. ‘features & special section writing’</li></li></ul><li>strong working knowledge of Final Cut Pro and Photoshop<br />HTML, CSS, Javascript and basic PHP understanding<br />WordPress usage and Flash experience preferred<br />a superb journalist who has technical acumen and keen creativity<br />Top-notch multimedia editor<br />The Desert Sun and its award-winning Web site,, have an immediate opening for a digital content editor specializing in multimedia and social media content. <br />
  28. 28. Digital News Editor<br />The individual hired <br /><ul><li>will have experience editing video on iMovie or Final Cut Express,
  29. 29. be familiar with Garage Band or a similar audio editing software, and
  30. 30. be proficient making maps on Google maps
  31. 31. experience promoting a newspaper or business on social networks is a plus. </li></li></ul><li>Moor’s advice in 2006 seems a little off the mark in 2010<br />Online has not overtaken print as the major employment platform<br />However…<br />Web skills, including multimedia and social media are becoming increasingly important across all hiring decisions<br />So ten years into the Internet revolution, you are beginning a career in journalism. <br />Odds are that means you are looking for a job in either print or TV.<br />What's wrong with this picture?<br />Anthony Moor, Online Journalism Review<br /><br />
  32. 32. Journalism as small business<br />Journalism students need to be taught or encouraged to do entrepreneurship to make sure they take off in the new climate – rather than fall flat on their face because their traditional skill-set no longer stands up to what is required. <br />(Hannah Waldram, 2009)<br />I graduated from Cardiff School of Journalism in 2009, have worked as a freelance dance critic, social reporter for Podnosh and online editor of for Meshed Media. <br />I have blogged for Media Wales and the Birmingham Post and I am founder of the hyperlocal website My particular interests are the arts, social media and technology.<br />
  33. 33. Some [Limited] conclusions<br />Newspapers and magazines [incl. trade & B2B] continue to provide just over half journalism jobs<br />Journalism skills are well regarded in ‘other’ [related jobs]<br />The number of online-only positions is still relatively small, but growing [web, CMS, copy-flow, blogging or social media skills]<br />Content farms and hyper-local sites are emerging new employers [Demand Media, Suite 101, Comcast & = Low-Pay Freelancers] <br />Writing, editorial & news judgment continue to dominate required skills [in top 3 across most platforms]<br />Nearly all journalism jobs now have at least some digital requirements [Over 50% in Newspaper, Magazine Radio & Other] <br />Initiative and time management are the top personal attributes desired by editors [a qualification still counts]<br />
  34. 34. ONE LAST THING…<br />Was going to hire one person this week until I looked up his FaceBook page. His profile photo was drinking beer out of a huge silver trophy. Cost him a job.<br />Pre-employment drug screening is required for all employees<br />