Where is the demand for journalists?

Emerging Occupation News, June 28, 2013

As the journalism profession and industry reconstructs itself,  the demand still seems to be centered in the historic print and broadcast centers of New York and Los Angeles. An analysis shows that roughly one quarter of want ads for ‘news analysts, reporters, and correspondents’ come out of the New York and Los Angeles metro areas The next highest source of journalist demand is Washington DC, with 5.5% of want ads for journalists. The top ten metro areas are shown below.


I note that this analysis is preliminary and based on raw data. If there’s interest I can do another level of validation on the results.


8 thoughts on “Where is the demand for journalists?

  1. OK, that’s interesting, but it seems to be missing a crucial piece of information. How many journalism jobs are we talking about? I’ll be it’s a much smaller number than ever.

    • According to BLS data, there were 80K news analysts, reporters, and correspondents in 2009. In the year ending May 2013, our calculations from the CPS show 86K. Now, this says nothing about salary etc. But it seems the number has gone up rather than going down.

    • Doug,

      Agreed that the government numbers have been bouncing up and down, potentially because of sampling error. That’s why it’s important that help-wanted ads for ‘news analysts, reporters and correspondents’–a completely separate data source–have also surged over the same period. The help-wanted database, from The Conference Board, is not a sample, but a count of all the ads out there, categorized by occupation. The categorization is not perfect, but it is very useful.

      The other point that I didn’t mention is that editors are a separate occupation. Based on both the CPS and help-wanted data, the job gains for editors have been considerably weaker than for news analysts, reporters, and correspondents. My personal theory is that the changes have cut out a layer or two of editors/management.

  2. “Estimates for newspaper newsroom cutbacks in 2012 put the industry down 30% since 2000 and below 40,000 full-time professional employees for the first time since 1978. In local TV, our special content report reveals, sports, weather and traffic now account on average for 40% of the content produced on the newscasts studied while story lengths shrink.” — Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism The State of the News Media 2013 – An Annual Report on American Journalism

    • Oh, there’s no doubt that the number of print journalists has fallen, as you note. But please dont omit the rapid growth of digital news from the same report.

      “Most mobile news users are not replacing one platform with another; they are consuming more news than they had in the past.”

      What’s more, news is becoming more accessible: “49% of tablet news users with less than a college education say the device is boosting their news consumption”

      This is why I class ‘journalism’ as an emerging occupation–the nature of the skills and tasks are changing rapidly.

      • Sorry for the late reply. Yes, agreed, digital is growing rapidly, but most of those jobs are low paying and for the lesser experienced. But I don’t think the skills are changing. The technology is different; the distribution and delivery system is different. But acquiring information, discerning between fact and opinion, and knowing what to ask and how to ask it remain skills that typically do not come to the inexperienced. Check out the conversation between Bill Keller and Glenn Greenwald in the NYT over “new” journalism. Much of the time, you can’t tell who is speaking because they are more on the same page about journalism than not. And that’s a good thing.

  3. Pingback: The Evolution of Journalism | South Mountain Economics

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