Is there a future for aspiring journalists?

Speaking with journalists at PRSSA national conference and Philadelphia journalists I have connected with through the organization, it seems the current job market for aspiring journalists is unpromising.  Personally, I struggle with this concept.  In my opinion, the increase of online media outlets presents endless opportunities for writers.  While newspapers and magazines may be suffering due to the availability of information online, I think the profession itself is safe.

Bloggers are comparable to journalists, in fact, many times bloggers are journalists.  There are several credible blogs written by former and current journalists and PR professionals, and there is opportunity to make money in blogging.  Although many people feel if their work hasn’t been printed they are not real journalists, this is a misconception that will doom these individuals as they search for jobs in today’s electronic society.  These new concepts need to be approached iwth an open mind.  Rather than saying journalists are going to be obsolete in the future, I think it makes far more sense to say that (like PR) journalism is changing.

People can find the news they are interested in through a quick Google search.  Websites belonging to news outlets contain searchable articles in archives from years back.  Following a blog provide people with anecdotes and writings on subjects specific to the individual and Twitter can provide you with shortened versions of the news, a concept that is ideal for the busy American.  Essentially, newspapers and magazines are no longer the easiest way to get the news.  It is for this reason that current and hopeful potential journalists must adapt to the changing climate.

A recent post from The Biz Blog called “Seven Reasons Newspapers are Not Rebounding Financially” highlights the issues facing Newspapers in terms of the economy and, inevitably, any college grad hoping to work at one.  Blogger Rick Edmonds sites the following reasons for the ongoing financial troubles for newspapers:

  1. Continuously falling advertising revenues
  2. Though the online portions are prospering, they are not contributing significantly to profit, yet (and more than likely will not for several years).
  3. Printing costs have increased by about 20% creating an issue even if newspaper sales increase.
  4. Newsroom staff cuts are necessary to accommodate the changes to budget.
  5. Revenues made by increasing the price of newspapers in previous years have fallen flat.
  6. This cycle is endless, beginning with low circulation discouraging potential advertisers.
  7. Many newspapers have either filed bankruptcy or are in debt.

One casualty in the economic tragedy facing the newspaper industry that I find particularly upsetting is the end of  The website will be shutting down despite its success due to a merger between Newsweek and  The Daily Beast.

An economic recovery could turn this cycle around, but for those of you aspiring journalists I recommend developing a blog and blogging while you wait it out.  Here is a link to provide you with tips on monetizing your blog.




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