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ARTICLE: The more Chileans study journalism, the less they want to practice it

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When Chilean journalism students approach graduation, their interest in working in journalism declines, write Claudia Mellado, of Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaíso, and Andrés Scherman, of Diego Portales University. The authors surveyed 1 985 Chilean journalism students from 14 private and public universities.

Most journalism students want to work in producing journalism, but their proportion drops over the course of studies. While 73 per cent of first year students expect to build a career in journalism, only 52 per cent do so on their fifth year of study.

Instead, the number of journalism students looking into public relations, teaching and research, and “other” careers increase as their studies progress. Especially PR becomes more tempting as graduation approaches (interest going up from 11 to 23 per cent of students). Only few first-year students (4 per cent) consider going into advertising, and that proportion remains low until the final year of studies (3 per cent).

Mellado and Scherman also found that female journalism students are more likely than males to consider occupations other than producing journalism. Similarly, the students’ self-reported motivations affect their career choices: students who want occupational security are more likely to abandon journalism, while those looking for personal development are more likely to stick with it.

The article “Influences on Job Expectations among Chilean Journalism Students” was published by the International Journal of Communication. It is freely available online (open access).

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