by Mike Rosenberg
As I’ve spent the last several months looking for a full-time journalism job, I keep noticing something depressing.
When you search job sites for “journalism,” “reporter” or other similar keywords, what you’ll find is a whole bunch of roles that have nothing to do directly with producing the news.
For every one job result for a reporter, photojournalist or TV producer, you’ll get 10 results for jobs available to people with journalism backgrounds or degrees to switch careers toward marketing, advertising and – most of all – public relations.
I decided to dig into the numbers and what I found was a media landscape that has seen a huge rise in pitchmen and a big drop in news reporters, at a rate that surprised even a jaded newspaper reporter such as myself.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, here is how the total American job numbers looked 15 years ago, and today:
2000: 65,900 news reporters, and 128,600 public relations people
2015: 45,800 news reporters, and 218,000 public relations people
So 15 years ago, there were two PR people for every reporter in the country. Now there are 4.8 PR people for every reporter.
This is a huge change, as companies and organizations are seeking to bypass a shrinking media industry and tell their own stories. What this means is that people are getting less objective news and more biased content.
When I tweeted those stats recently, a lot of reporters chimed in, including former Baltimore Sun staffer and creator of the HBO series “The Wire,” David Simon.
“This is how a republic dies. Not with a bang, but a reprinted press release,” Simon tweeted with a link to the stats. [READ MORE]