July 8, 2014

"Journalism Enrollments Fell Two Years in a Row. Is it the Start of a Downward Trend?"

Writes Michael King in the American Journalism Review.
The overall decline found in the study masks steeper drops found at some schools... Stanford University — 40.9 percent decrease/New York University — 45.6 percent decrease... University of Washington — 69.2 percent decrease...

Among those showing significant increases from 2008 to 2012 were... University of Wisconsin-Madison with 30 percent growth....

33 comments:

Todd said...

Sounds like good news to me. I want far fewer journalists and more reporters. Read a NYT story today that was nothing but "likely reason", "seems to be", "could be", "some say", etc. and NO facts. Just endless suppositions. What ever happened to "who, what, when, where and why"? They got sold out to "advocacy journalism" otherwise known as "story telling".

Curious George said...

But who then is going to change the world?

campy said...

All a journalist needs to know is how to regurgitate a democrat talking point.

Carol said...

I used to want to go that route, but it seemed like the top reporters and magazine writers hadn't been journalism majors at all, but instead English majors at some elite eastern school.

The J school people ended up at the dailies and local TV stations and were lucky to hang on to those.

Al from Chgo said...

one can only hope

John said...

Todd, you took the words right out of my mouth. I was going to say "Sounds like a good start"

I've never understood the purpose of journalism schools. It has always seemed to me that journalists should be recruited from the ranks of people with regular degrees in the subjects they cover.

Much like teachers. A science teacher may get educated for 4 years, possibly even a Masters in teaching science. They often get through the entire education never having taken a course in science.

Ditto journalists, we see every day reporters writing stories on things they know absolutely nothing about.

Here is an idea: Hire scientists to report on science and then teach them to write. Ditto economists and every other field.

Journalism should be an elective, not a discipline. It should be a craft, not a profession.

John Henry

Original Mike said...

I would think they could cover the material necessary to be a journalist in a year. I've never understood where they get four years of material. Here's a four-year curriculum. Four semesters of "Concentration"? Three of "Abstract Thinking"?

John said...

For a great example of what Todd is talking about, remember a few weeks ago where there were stories of hundreds of baby/fetal corpses disposed of in a septic tank in an Irish Girl's school?

How many remember the never mind moment a couple days later. The paper retracted the story saying that it was "unclear how many IF ANY corpses there were." Quote from memory.

Seems like it was almost criminal for any journalist to have gone with a story on hundreds when there may not have been even one.

Fuck journalism and journalists.

John Henry

khesanh0802 said...

If there is not as great a demand for buggy whips there will not be as great a need for buggy whip makers. Pretty simple, but beyond the abilities of most"professors" of journalism.
Couldn't agree more with Todd about the low level of actual reporting in the news today. Too much work I guess. Personally couldn't be happier to see Columbia shrinking; one of the most egregious offenders of teaching non-reporting.

Tibore said...

I actually believe this is the culmination of trends dating back to the early 90's. Back then, my university's journalism school was doing well enrollment-wise, but graduates kept coming back saying that the jobs aren't there, the ones that don't pay well and are mostly boring. So many journalism graduates ended up in fields only marginally related (i.e. Public Relations) and a large minority went into fields that had nothing at all to do with journalism (I personally know of one who went into nursing because his newspaper job simply wasn't paying enough).

This was back in 1989 through '93. Before the pressures of the internet caused a readership decline.

Frankly, my analysis is that the field was already oversaturated well before web based media plunged a knife into the profession. Back then the advent of digitalization and remote digital communication was making journalism exciting (I remember the local paper showing off their suitcased-sized negative scanner. Only took 30 minutes per frame, and had a built-in acoustic coupler modem to send the pictures straight back to the paper!). The first Gulf War sent newsreading to a serious high, and the field couldn't have looked better... but yet, there were still signs of trouble. Oversaturation of hopeful candidates already was a problem for graduates. So were painfully stagnant salaries. And if that was the case back then when things were good, it's had to have gotten far worse now that the news profession is struggling.

This only seems recent. My perspective is that the seeds were there back in the early 90's.

James Pawlak said...

Perhaps because American youths still have some respect for honesty.

Original Mike said...

"Here is an idea: Hire scientists to report on science and then teach them to write. Ditto economists and every other field."

This. A thousand times This.

Conserve Liberty said...

I used to want to go that route, but it seemed like the top reporters and magazine writers hadn't been journalism majors at all, but instead English majors at some elite eastern school.

The J school people ended up at the dailies and local TV stations and were lucky to hang on to those.


My daughter is a Producer for a Broadcast Network News Division live daily feature. She was an English Writing Major at a small, midwestern private university and received a Fellowship in Honors Media as well.

Media Fellows actually produced all the media output at the university. Quite a lot of the instruction (the Media Fellows Honors Program was in addition to a regular Baccalaureate) was technical - how to operate television and radio and print production equipment; how to photograph for News; how to write for News or Features; - but also how to research; Ethics; Union rules.

Her first job in the industry - straight out of college - was answering telephones on the news desk. That job is now done by unpaid interns. Her next job was digitizing analog satellite feeds for Associate Producers to use as B-roll. That job is now done by computers.

Her big break was a mere chance. She stepped in un-asked, with 60 seconds to spare, to operate the TelePrompTer when the regular operator has fallen asleep and couldn't be located. It was a Sunday morning live news show from Washington - big stuff and the show was saved. When asked where she learned to operate the machine - and she replied college - the 'Talent' immediately said he knew where she went, who the Director of her Honors Program was and what else she could do - and that no one with a Masters from from Stanford or Columbia could come close to the skill of a Media Fellow.

She Produced Embassy News Conferences over US holidays when the 'real' people were off the grid. She covered the White House in emergencies (which always seemed to happen on weekends) and saved the 'Talent's' bacon. She lives for the News and aacrifices for the News and reminds anyone who challenges her that her great-grandfather was the London Bureau Chief for the New York Herald and her Grandfather was the History Editor for the San-Francisco Examiner (when such a position existed) and she's the rare breed who knows and upholds the honorable tradition of News.

She's now in New York, running things behind the scenes and quite successful. But just seven years after she got that first job she couldn't even get a start today. The entry-level positions aren't available any more.

She's also a very lonely conservative and a very liberal community.

Fernandinande said...

Todd said...
Sounds like good news to me.


Me too. The best and most interesting writers never set foot in any JournoList classes.

The Crack Emcee said...

Whites claim journalism is dead. Meanwhile, Ta-Nehisi Coates writes a 16,000 word essay on reparations, and it's the biggest selling issue in The Atlantic's 150 year history.

My take:

Journalism will suffer as long as whites insist on writing only about what THEY know and engage in:

Distractions from their boring existence,...


The Crack Emcee said...

Todd,

"What ever happened to "who, what, when, where and why"?"

Who? White people.

What? Murder - of pretty much everything.

When? The last 400 years, finally giving way in the mid-to-late 70s - they claim they did it voluntarily now, the poor delusional things.

Where? Right here in the good ol' U.S.A., "Land of the free and home of the brave," and inventor of bogus descriptions of whites like that. (Our only competition is South Africa in that regard.)

Why? Madness and greed, mostly inspired by extreme insecurity and paranoia, resulting in murderous frustration and a lack of social skills.

Quick - somebody call the NYT:

Tell 'em I got an angle whites like Todd are gonna LOVE,...

Todd said...

Crack could you please, please, PLEASE STFU once in a while? Not every issue (hard to believe) has something to do with racism and/or you.

And, as I said before, I read the article you think so highly of and I thought is was long winded and full of emotional appeal but very short on logic and solutions. Coates is just the long version of you - give me money. Heard enough of that already, thanks.

Coconuss Network said...

Conserve Liberty .... super congrats to your daughter. I consider journalism. Have considered online Master's program, though 40k is steep. So I apply online for jobs, with stiff competition to already having worked journalism majors. I am a BA English/Rhetoric/Science with an MA Education. I manage a blog working with others' articles. Would be interested in Writing/Editing Broadcast, Online, Media .... again stiff competition. Susanné ststeiner1@hotmail.com

Mike said...

Let's hope so!

St. George said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

You want 'who, what, when, where, why,' you've got to pay for it, one way or another.

It costs time, some talent, and money. It involves risk and proper deployment of resources.

You want your ideological and personal preferences represented more often...because since the tide's gone out...the liberal ideological tendencies are showing?

Well, the media's always skewed liberal, it's just more obvious in this stinky, low-tide harbor.

Pay for it. Put your money where your mouth is. Get involved in some way. Subscribe and forget about it like your local paper.

Appreciate reporting so good you momentarily forget the biases of the reporter and outlet who put it forward.

However you do it, I don't care.

Otherwise, for all the reasons you have to bitch, just please stop bitching.

There's enough bitching already, There are few revenue streams for people who want to report, or get at the truth and bring reporting any honor it can muster.

It is what it is.

Todd said...

I don't mind paying for value but today, I don't see the value. We get the local paper for the coupons, I don't read it because it is crap. I don't watch the news on the TV either as it is also all crap. The TV format is all the same. 3 minutes of build up, 2 minute coverage that includes 1.5 minutes of human interest with the 30 second trailer that there will be more information in the later broadcast which is just the same junk they showed earlier.

They should save money on all of the field reporters (who cares about the on-site crew anyway), invest it in getting the story and FACTS right and just have the suit read it from the prompter.

Everything else is just distraction from how bad they are doing their jobs.

I get my news from the net, which apparently is a workable model as I wind up with better, more complete reporting that allows me to be better informed than most of the people I run into on an ongoing basis. If you just listen to the MSM, you would think the Hobby Lobby case was about birth control and you would be wrong but if you stopped 100 random people in the street, out of those that even knew what you were talking about, 95% of them would also likely answer birth control because that is how it was (wrongly) covered.

It is that way with the vast majority of the MSM reporting (haha - should have said story telling).

Drago said...

"Journalism Enrollments Fell Two Years in a Row"

Of course they did.

Stenography enrollments, on the other hand, have never been higher.

Drago said...

Crack: "Meanwhile, Ta-Nehisi Coates writes a 16,000 word essay on reparations, and it's the biggest selling issue in The Atlantic's 150 year history."

LOL

Obviously paid by the word.

Biggest selling issue in The Atlantic's 150 year history?

Talk about low low low bars.

Of course, Crack is very familiar with those.

Drago said...

Todd said...
Crack could you please, please, PLEASE STFU once in a while? Not every issue (hard to believe) has something to do with racism and/or you.

But that's the challenge isn't it?

To tie everything back to race.

Some people simply play sudoku or 7 Words.

Of course, 7 Words does not use ebonics.

So, you know, racist.

dwick said...

Among those showing significant increases from 2008 to 2012 were... University of Wisconsin-Madison with 30 percent growth...

Hmmm... applications to UW-Madison Law School were down about 30% for 2013. Coincidence?

D.E. Cloutier said...

I spent seven years as a newspaper reporter. Afterward, I went into business.

Newspaper reporters and entrepreneurs have quite a bit in common. Both spend their days trying to get something from somebody. In the reporter's case, it's information; in the entrepreneur's case, it's money.

In the 1960s Normand Poirier (1928-1981) was a star reporter at the New York Post. He was one of my mentors in the newspaper business. He taught more than a few things to Pete Hamill, too.

"You are the eyes and ears of the reader, not the brain," Norm said. "See, hear, don't think."

That's still pretty good advice for news people.

Ann Althouse said...

"Meanwhile, Ta-Nehisi Coates writes a 16,000 word essay on reparations..."

Why do people keep saying the number of words in that essay?

It seems patronizing, don't you think? Is it supposed to be amazing that an essay is long? Many people write whole books. Why is 16,000 held up as a feat?

It seems to imply that you're impressed that he did it at all.

Paul said...

So many 'journalist' are just liberal apparatchiks of the democrats anyway.

They either report lies or just simply not report what they should.

That is how they control what is read or heard.

So who cares if they go unemployed or go the way of the dodo bird.

Robert Cook said...

Tsk...so much ignorance on display.

The simple reason J-school applications are dropping is because newspapers are dying and will soon be nearly extinct. There are no jobs, and those the remain--for now--do not offer any promise of a future, much less a well-paid one.

Newspapers are dying not because Americans detest journalists--most don't even think about journalists, as such--but because Americans who seek out the news obtain their news from television or the internet. They believe, incorrectly, that this makes them well-informed about the world and their society.

Newspapers certainly deserve their share of criticism for their failings--always the result of management decisions--but the loss of good newspapers, a result of the lack of interest in good newspapers by the public--is a calamity for all of us.

Todd said...

Robert Cook said...
Newspapers certainly deserve their share of criticism for their failings--always the result of management decisions--but the loss of good newspapers, a result of the lack of interest in good newspapers by the public--is a calamity for all of us.
7/9/14, 10:46 AM


I think you might have your cause and affect backwards.

I strongly believe that there is a desire for a GOOD newspaper. I would pay to receive one. There is not any though.

Papers could excel with detailed coverage of events and leave the drive-by news for TV. Instead they syndicate AP junk because it is there and easier that actually having reports.

Serve crappy food and no one will eat dinner there. This is a problem of their own creation. They deliver junk and wonder why they are bleeding subscriptions.

Robert Cook said...

Todd,

No, you're living in the past. Modern mediums (and means) of communication mitigate against the development of long attention spans and close reading and are consequently killing the daily newspapers. Why buy a newspaper that will take time and focus to read, when one can simply scan the internet happening across bits of news while trying to find something else, or, while scanning the internet or making or eating dinner, listen to the headlines presented on tv by pretty boys and girls who are carrying on as if they're one's personal friends, mugging and tittering through the most superficial presentation of much noise and little signal?

Newspapers are seen as archaic artifacts: readers have stopped buying them and advertisers have stopped placing ads in them...or are only willing to pay low rates for such as ads as they do place.

Nichevo said...

Robert, you are a racist. Crack says so. Tahisi Neo Cortex or whatever his name is wrote a !16,000! word essay about something and saved print journalism.

Althouse, perhaps you should perform an impossible sex act. People are chanting 16K because your pet project Crack Emcee says this factoid in EVERY.SINGLE.FUCKING.THREAD.YOU.POST. We've got Stockholm Syndrome. Soon we're going to start throwing money at him in hopes of shutting him up. It's not the content, it's just that he's a broken record!