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Journalists are more negative about their work

U.S. journalists have become increasingly dissatisfied with their work and see the industry moving in the wrong direction, a new survey of Indiana University shows. Key findings:

Most see journalism going in “wrong direction.” Six in 10 journalists (59.7 percent) say that journalism in the United States is going in the wrong direction.

Newsrooms are shrinking. Six in 10 journalists (62.6 percent) say their workforces have shrunk during the past year, while only about a quarter (24.2 percent) said their staff numbers remained the same, and even fewer reported some growth (13.2 percent).

Journalists are getting older. The median age of full-time U.S. journalists increased by six years to 47 from 2002. This trend applies to journalists at daily and weekly newspapers, radio and television stations, magazines, wire services and online news sites.

More women in journalism. The number of women in journalism increased by 4.5 percent. However, women still represent only slightly more than one-third of all full-time journalists working for the U.S. news media, as has been true since the early 1980s. This trend persists despite the fact that more women than ever are graduating from journalism schools.

Journalists are more likely to have at least a bachelor’s degree. About 92 percent of all full-time U.S. journalists have at least a bachelor’s degree, but slightly fewer proportionately are journalism majors (37.4 percent).

Gender pay gap persists. Median income has climbed to about $50,000 in 2012, up 12.9 percent since 2002. This increase was less than half of the combined inflation rate of 29.5 percent during this decade (2001-12). Women’s salaries still trail those of men overall, but not among journalists with less than five years’ experience.

More journalists say they are independents. In 2013, about half of all journalists (50.2 percent) said they were political independents, up about 18 percentage points from 2002.

Job satisfaction drops further. Job satisfaction dropped from 33.3 percent of journalists who said they were “very satisfied” with their job in 2002, to 23.3 percent who said so in 2013. This trend continues the decline in job satisfaction that was observed between 1971 and 1992 but was interrupted with a positive bounce in 2002.

Source: Indiana University Press Release

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Article by Valer Kot

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