The required skill sets for people working in journalism are continually expanding. At the same time, career prospects of journalism students exceed the usual meanings of “journalism” work.
Deb Halpern Wenger and Jason Cain of the University of Mississippi, and Lynn C. Owens of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (authors not in original order), compared jobs posted in 2010 and 2015 by top ten newspaper and broadcast journalism companies in the United States. The authors did a content analysis of more than 1800 job postings.
“The traditional print or TV job is, in many ways, a thing of the past”, the researchers found. Overall, newer job postings were more detailed and lengthy.
There was an increased demand for skills in social media and audience engagement, as well as candidates with web and multimedia skills, teamwork and the ability to work under pressure. In 2010, 33% of positions required multimedia skills. In 2015, the number of postings with the requirement had risen to 62%. References about social media skills grew from 2% to 47%.
Very few of the skills have seen any sort of decrease in mentions over time. As the skills of writing and reporting are not decreasing, the profession is demanding more from educators and students than ever before, the researchers conclude.
The article “Help Wanted: Realigning Journalism Education to Meet the Needs of Top U.S. News Companies” was published in Journalism & Mass Communication Educator and is available online (abstract free).
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