From Left to Right: Dr. Lee Becker, Cox Center Director, Paris Desnoes, Cox Center Graduate Research Assistant, Clark Bell, McCormick Foundation Journalism Director, and Dr. Tudor Vlad, Cox Center Associate Director

Researchers Find Weak Job Market for Journalism Graduates, Slowdown in Enrollments Growth

Graduates of U.S. journalism and mass communication programs in the spring of 2009 confronted a job market unlike any that graduates have encountered in the nearly 25 years for which comparable data are available, researchers from the University of Georgia reported in August.

All indicators of the health of the journalism and mass communication job market in 2009 and early 2010 showed declines from a year earlier, the researchers found.

Salaries remained unchanged for the fourth consecutive year, meaning that graduates actually were receiving less money because of the effects of inflation.

Benefits packages also continued to weaken.

The researchers also reported that enrollments in journalism and mass communication programs at U.S. universities declined by 0.5 percent in the autumn of 2009, compared with a year earlier. It is the first time since 1993 that the number of journalism and mass communication students decreased.

Enrollments at the undergraduate level decreased by 0.4 percent, while enrollments at the graduate level were down 1.6 percent.

These are the key findings from the Annual Surveys of Journalism & Mass Communication, conducted each year in the James M. Cox Jr. Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research at the University of Georgia.

The Cox Center is the international outreach unit of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Dr. Lee B. Becker, director of the Center, and Dr. Tudor Vlad, associate director of the Center, released the results of the surveys at a special session of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication on Aug. 4.

Paris Desnoes and Devora Olin, graduate students in the Cox Center, also were authors of the survey reports. Desnoes joined with Drs. Becker and Vlad in making the presentation.

Paris Desnoes presents the results of the Annual Survey of Journalism & Mass Communication

The findings come from two separate studies, one of a national sample of graduates of the journalism and mass communication programs in the U.S., and the other from a census of administrators of those programs.

The results of the graduate survey were released in a full report on the day of the session. The enrollment report findings were preliminary. The final report will be released in November.

The Annual Surveys of Journalism & Mass Communication are housed in the Cox Center and used extensively in center programs. They are funded by a group of sponsors representing communication organizations around the country.

In 2009, the McCormick Foundation of Chicago provided additional support for the surveys as part of an initiative to help the Cox Center extend the surveys' outreach in the professional communities they serve.

A full report of the 2009 Annual Survey of Journalism & Mass Communication Graduates is available on the Annual Surveys of Journalism & Mass Communication web site.