Whitney Kazragis, Graduate Research Assistant in the Cox Center, answering questions after the session.

Cox Center Researchers Issue Reports on Labor Market and Journalism Education Studies at St. Louis Conference

Graduates from U.S. journalism and mass communication university programs in 2010 experienced a slight improvement in the job market in comparison with what graduates a year earlier experienced.

Journalism and mass communication university programs around the country saw a growth in enrollments in 2010 compared with a year earlier.

U.S. daily newspapers in 2010 hired more graduates directly from college than they had five years earlier, and, as in the past, nearly nine in 10 of those graduates had university degrees in journalism and mass communication.

The broad field of communication has 123 doctoral programs at U.S. universities, and students from outside the U.S. earn nearly a quarter of the degrees those programs grant each year.

These are the findings of four separate studies released by researchers of the James M. Cox Jr. Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research at the 2011 Conference of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, which met in August in St. Louis.

The four-day conference was attended by 2,200 journalism educators. Most of those educators are based at U.S. universities, but educators from other countries around the world also were represented.

In a special session dedicated to their work, Dr. Lee B. Becker, director of the Cox Center, and Dr. Tudor Vlad, associate director of the Center, told about 40 audience members about the findings of the Annual Surveys of Journalism & Mass Communication.

The Annual Surveys, which Dr. Becker has been directing for nearly 25 years, are housed in the Cox Center and used in Center programs but funded separately by a group of sponsors, including the McCormick Foundation and the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication itself.

Graduate and undergraduate students in the Cox Center work on the Annual Surveys, and Whitney Kazragis, who will have primary responsibility for the fieldwork in 2011-2012, attended the St. Louis conference and assisted with the presentations by Drs. Becker and Vlad.

In another session at the conference, Dr. Becker summarized the findings of the 2010 Annual Survey of Journalism & Mass Communication Enrollments for the Community College Journalism Association members attending as well as others at small university journalism programs.

From left to right: Robert Griffin - Marquette University, David Weaver - Indiana University, Cleve Wilhoit - Indiana University, Sharon Dunwoody - University of Wisconsin, Sharon Friedman - Lehigh University, LeeAnn Kahlor - University of Texas at Austin, and Lee Becker - University of Georgia.

Dr. Becker was one of four invited panelists at that session.

In another invited presentation on student evaluations of teaching, Dr. Becker encouraged those in attendance to consider using job placement as a criterion for evaluating teaching. He was one of four members of that panel.

In yet another session at the conference, Dr. Becker joined a panel to highlight the work of Dr. Sharon Dunwoody from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, who was selected as the recipient of the Deutschmann Award. The award is the highest recognition of the journalism association for career research achievement.

"Because of the quantity, quality and consistency of Sharon's work, she has built a reputation as one of the key experts on science communication and is the true expert on how science journalists work," Dr. Becker said. He also pointed out that he had learned through his experience internationally that Dr. Dunwoody's reputation "is not limited by national borders."

The annual conference was held from Aug. 10-13 at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown St. Louis.