Journalism majors face an unsteady job market

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    Facing your final year in college makes you feel two things: panic and an overwhelming urge to get the heck out of Dodge.

    Parents and teachers are constantly hounding seniors about what they want to do with the rest of their lives, like we have any idea what the answer is. We’re just trying to graduate on time.

    Sure, a career is never far from our minds, but we try really hard to keep it as far away as possible.

    Being forced to become a responsible adult is not something we look forward to with a smile on our faces. Possibly the hardest thing we will have to do when we leave TCU is find employment. This challenge is made more difficult every day by the fact that the job market seems to be dwindling.

    Being a news-editorial journalism major, I hear my professors talk about the glory days of journalism and the good times they have had tracking down the big scoop. But lately their stories have taken on a dark tone.

    Newspapers are becoming extinct, and most people are noticing.

    Anick Jesdanun, a reporter for the Associated Press, wrote in an article, “The newspaper industry’s downward spiral is accelerating as the weak U.S. economy depresses an already-tumbling advertising revenue and forces more rounds of job cuts and other trims.”

    Needless to say, that doesn’t give an aspiring young journalist a lot of hope. The Internet and television have replaced my preferred profession. How much longer can the newspapers hold on?

    Jesdanun said this time of the year is usually when a newspaper can boost its revenue with advertising for new car models and holiday sales, but even this could not prevent more job cuts in the newsroom.

    The newspaper industry is at such a disadvantage to the Internet because advertising is strictly national. Most Web sites profit because of their access across the globe. International advertisements can be put on American Web sites and they will be seen by everyone, but newspapers do not have that kind of networking capability.

    Duncan Riley of TechCrunch.com, said in a blog post, “The decline of newspapers is more rapid than previously thought, with total print advertising revenue in 2007 plunging 9.4 percent to $42 billion compared to 2006, the biggest drop in revenue since 1950, the year they started tracking annual revenue.”

    Riley also believes the Internet ad revenue is increasing, but not enough to help replace the losses faced in the print industry.

    So what does all this tell the TCU student who wants to be a journalist? Find a different outlet. What does this tell a senior news-editorial major? Get out now, or get creative.

    Liz Davis is a senior news-editorial journalism major from Findlay, Ohio.