Radio & Television News Association

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Number of Full-Time Journalists Drops


The number of full-time journalists in the United States has dropped sharply over the last decade, particularly those working for daily newspapers and radio stations. A new book by faculty in the Indiana University School of Journalism offers some revealing statistics.

Despite cuts in employment at many news organizations, the average journalist is older. Baby boomers are largely remaining in the profession. The largest increase in the number of reporters was the 45-to-54 age group. Nearly two-thirds of all full-time journalists are over age 35.

The number of television journalists has grown every time the research was conducted. The number of television journalists grew from 7,000 to 17,784, between 1971 and 1992, and was 20,288 in 2002.

The number of radio journalists grew from 7,000 in 1971 to 19,583 in 1982, but has declined since reaching that peak. Weaver said there are fewer than 14,000 journalists working in radio today.Interestingly, online journalists tend to share the same characteristics of other reporters.

For example, the media age of online journalists is 39, compared to 41 among print reporters and 40 among those in broadcast media. The Online News Association cooperated with the study.


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