What young journalists think about journalism and its future

Posted on June 11, 2009

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Young journalists are braced for the rise of multiplatform journalism and the decline in traditional news sources yet few of you imagine yourselves working outside of mainstream news in the foreseeable future.

In 2007 I came up with the idea of setting up a dinner club for young journalists to discuss the future of the trade. That has now blossomed into something even bigger and at our session last week I carried out a survey of ‘young’ journalists’ thoughts about our trade.

The findings of my (completely unscientific) survey raise questions as to how early-stage journalists expect to be able to maintain career longevity in a rapidly changing media landscape.

“Journalism is hugely overrated and unsatisfying for so many people but it teaches you the skill of proper writing so it’s worth doing,” was one comment that seemed to sum up many of your thoughts.

The main gripe cited about your current positions was the lack of opportunity to engage in original journalism. Poor organisation, the prevalence of desk-based reporting and increasing job insecurity were cited in equal measure. Only one person mentioned a poor salary as a bugbear!

Your reasons for becoming a journalist were very honourable. Most of you were attracted by the idea that you could make a difference through journalism, travel lots and do a job that was varied.

Despite some disillusionment with your choice to enter the trade, “I didn’t want to work in an office from 9am – 5pm. Instead I now work in an office from 8am – 8pm”, you’re all pretty optimistic about the future.

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Posted in: media