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Journalism Graduates Don’t Read Newspapers

Journalism Graduates Don’t Read Newspapers

“I get all the news I need from the weather report…”

I’m writing about this just because I wanted to embed this video of one of my favorite Simon and Garfunkel songs.

Paul Bedard reports in the Washington Examiner, Study: Journalism grads don’t read newspapers, mags, books (via memeorandum):

The University of Georgia’s “Annual Survey of Journalism & Mass Communication Graduates,” which surveys J-School grads, their habits, salaries and the jobs they take, found that just one-third had read a newspaper the day before taking the survey. That’s a stunning drop from the 81 percent in 1994.

And in a clear sign of the times, three-quarters read news off the internet and many watched TV. And virtually all went on a social media website the day before taking the survey, which is a guide to how new journalists consume news.

The report begs the question: If today’s journalists don’t read print, why should those they are writing for read magazines and newspapers?

The headline is more provocative than the article. All the survey shows is that The Times, The Post, The Examiner et al. they are changing. The Washington Examiner, which currently publishes Bedard, reduced the frequency of its print edition from six days a week to once a week earlier this year. Three years ago, his former publication, U.S. News and World Report ceased publishing a print edition and went totally digital.

It isn’t like saying “I get all the news I need from the weather report,” it’s just acknowledging that more and more news is available online.

The last sentence of Bedard’s article is probably the most important. After noting that the average starting salary for a journalist is about $10,000 less than the average starting salary of college graduates in other fields, Bedard concludes:

Which may explain this statistic in the 75-page survey: Nearly 28 percent regretted their decision to go into journalism.

Could it be that years of shredding any sense of objectivity have taken their toll on the industry? Today’s journalists are more advocates than reporters. That’s why I stopped subscribing to newspapers. If I buy a newspaper now, it’s more likely to be for ads or coupons than for news.

If you make your living off the evening news, I can’t help you. I don’t watch that either.


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NC Mountain Girl | August 16, 2013 at 10:28 am

I’ve been a critic of J-schools for several decades. It is a skill set with a large personality component rather than a body of knowledge to be mastered. Thus it is not a job that requires an expensive degree, especially not an MA in journalism from one of a handfull of schools.

These degrees serve more as screening devices. For ages there have been far more wannabe journalists than there have been jobs for them. With entry level jobs hard to find and starting salaries so low the result has been a real lack of diversity of background among young journalists- they all have to have parents who can subsidize them well into their 20s. Nor is it a field for genuine free thinkers. The scarcity of jobs at the entry level help enforce the liberal orthodoxy. With so many people willing to take one’s place, no one can afford to rock the boat.

It’s funny, these are often people who make fun of those who buy lottery tickets, but that’s what many of them are doing. The jobs at the top of this field are grossly overpaid and the odds of getting one extremely slim, but every J-school student I talked to was sure they were going to go straight to the top.

Study: Journalism grads don’t read newspapers, mags, books

Journalist Katie Couric’s big Sarah Palin “gotcha” moment: “Specifically, which newspapers and magazines do you read regularly?”


I’ve said it before – I blame Lou Grant!

(Geesh, I love that Henley song)!

Henry Hawkins | August 16, 2013 at 12:56 pm

Not to defend journalists, but it’s hard to read a newspaper what with all that bird shit and empty seed shells, plus the bars are kind of narrow.

In the old days the mafia would take a guy out and then send a fish wrapped in newspaper to his people, signifying that he now ‘sleeps with the fishes’, i.e., resides at the bottom of the Hudson River. How will this be handled in the digital age, without dead tree newspapers?

When I was a kid and misbehaved, my mother would roll up the newspaper and whack my ass with it. How are digital age parents handling this now?

Also, as a kid, we delighted in pressing Silly Putty on the Sunday newspaper comics, peeling it up to reveal a copy in the putty. You could pull it here and there and comically distort Marmaduke’s face. I tried it on an LI Branco toon and it just doesn’t work at all. What now?

I think Americans are overlooking the value of the dead tree media, dying even as we speak.

    jayjerome66 in reply to Henry Hawkins. | August 16, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    “In the old days the mafia would take a guy out and then send a fish wrapped in newspaper to his people..”

    They wrapped the fish in a newspaper sheet because in the old days that’s how you bought fish. It was the age before commercial wrapping paper or ‘plastic wrap.’ Fish mongers and butchers used discarded newspapers for wrapping product because the newspapers were free. One of my first chores working for my Uncle Maxie at his fish shop was to scour the neighborhood in the morning for discarded copies of the Daily News and Mirror (nobody read the NY Times where we lived in the Bronx, or any of the other ‘proper’ papers – the ‘tabloids’ were our windows on the world, replete with full page photos of murders and fires and home-run slugging baseball players). The overused standard joke from customers who occasionally would snatch a headline from the wrapped packages was ‘Which smells worse today, the fish or the news?’

    Old newspapers had other ancillary uses back then. Bums really did pack sheets into shoes with holes in the souls. And we kids would crumple a sheet into our thin baseball gloves to keep our hands from stinging from hard hit line drives. And we used them to clean car and apartment windows, soaked in water with ammonia. And for making Halloween masks we’d dip strips of newspaper into plaster of paris; and some of the wise-ass linemen I played against in ‘schoolyard’ football games in the fall would make plaster of paris casts for their forearms, hidden under their sleeves.

    And newspapers or not, the sleeping with the fish symbol will continue, and post-Sopranos mafioso more preoccupied with style then substance will probably be sending those dead herrings in gift-wrapped Tiffany boxes.

    ‘Enry ‘Awkins, you make me laugh! Thank you! The visual of my grandma sending me out to pick an iPad off the tree to swat me with made my day!

      Henry Hawkins in reply to JoAnne. | August 16, 2013 at 9:48 pm

      I know, right? These days, if you’re a kid I guess you know you’re in deep doo-doo when Dad starts taking the shoulder strap off his laptop.


      Mom, can I go out and play?

      Not until you clean up your temporary file folder, young man!

When I was a kid and misbehaved, my mother would roll up the newspaper and whack my ass with it. How are digital age parents handling this now?

That’s probably child abuse now.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to Old0311. | August 16, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    Really? Awesome. What’s the statute of limitations on that? This happened in 1959 or so.

      thorleywinston in reply to Henry Hawkins. | August 16, 2013 at 3:35 pm

      The statute of limitations for child abuse is one year past the age of majority (18). Unless either of your parents was a smoker or a home schooler, then it runs until age 65.

So what they are saying is that journalists don’t know how to read? It must be true, I haven’t seen one proofread an article in the last 20 years. 😉

Newspapers always sold for less than the cost of printing them! The money that got made, however, came in from advertisers. AND, the “classified.” The NY Times ran a campaign that every job holder in NYC found that job through their classifieds. (“Lost dog.” “Apartment 4 Rent.” You got charged by the line of type. And, yes. There was money in that.)

Mere memories, now.

… And, the classifieds were divided into sections of “jobs for women.” And, “jobs for men.”

And, the NY Times, to make up for its lack of cartoons ran an addictive crossword puzzle on Sundays. And, people who loved doing them would head straight to the puzzle. And, they used a pen.

What’s a six letter word for lost readership? (BUSTED)

BannedbytheGuardian | August 16, 2013 at 11:21 pm

Sarah Palin let on to the world the joys of being a non reader of mags & papers. Prior to that it was just her thing.

On top of that she labelled them lame.

The end.

BannedbytheGuardian | August 16, 2013 at 11:23 pm

I like that song too. I have surfers In the house & I get to sing it most days.