Print/broadcast reporters, editors and producers say they are less satisfied with their work, have less autonomy on the job and see the industry moving in the wrong direction, Grumpy Editor notes from an Indiana University survey that, naturally, received zilch attention in newspapers and radio/TV news.
Among noteworthy survey findings:
Going wrong way. About 60 percent of journalists say journalism in the United States is going in the wrong direction.
Newsrooms are shrinking. Almost 63 percent of journalists say staffs were reduced during the past year, while only about a quarter say staff numbers remained the same.
Majority have bachelor’s degree. About 92 percent of full-time journalists have at least a bachelor’s degree --- although journalism majors represent about 37 percent.
More journalists say they are political independents. About half of all journalists say they are independents, up about 18 percentage points from a similar survey in 2002. The number of those identified with the Democrat Party dropped nearly 8 percentage points to 28 percent, while the number of journalists closer to the Republican Party decreased to 7 percent from 18 percent.
Job satisfaction ebbs. Job satisfaction fell to 23 percent from 33 percent of journalists who said they were “very satisfied” with their jobs in the 2002 tally. This trend continues the decline in job satisfaction that was observed between 1971 and 1992 but was interrupted with a positive bounce in 2002.
A puzzling element --- at a time when media critics are labeling current journalists, especially those out of Washington, lapdogs rather than watchdogs --- is that 78 percent of the surveyed journalists say investigating government claims is “extremely important.” The survey finds that percentage up significantly from 2002 and exceeds the 76 percent in the early 1970s.
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