ATHENS, GA. — The bottom fell out of the job market for journalism and mass communication graduates in 2001 and 2002:
- The percentage of students with full-time employment six to eight months after graduation dropped dramatically.
- Salaries also declined, as did benefits received.
- Particularly hard hit by the weakened job market were members of racial and ethnic minorities. Their level of full-time employment dropped more dramatically than did the level of full-time employment of others, and the gap between the level of full-time employment of minorities and others widened.
These were some of the key findings of the Annual Surveys of Journalism & Mass Communication, conducted in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia. The findings will be released at the annual meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication Thursday (Aug. 8, 2002) in Miami Beach.
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is one of the sponsors of the annual surveys, which are conducted in the James M. Cox Jr. Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research in the Grady College.
Five full reports and a sixth preliminary report from the Annual Surveys of Journalism & Mass Communication will be released at the Aug. 8 meeting.
Enrollments in journalism and mass communication programs around the country have continued to grow, though the rate of growth has declined from recent years, according to the research.
While approximately one in four of the students enrolled in journalism and mass communication programs is a member of racial and ethnic minorities, those students are unevenly distributed around the country, with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and members of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) playing a crucial role in educating African-American and Hispanic students.
While the HBCU and HACU institutions educate only 7 percent of the students receiving undergraduate degrees from the nation’s journalism and mass communication programs, they grant more than 30 percent of the undergraduate journalism and mass communication degrees earned by African-American students and more than 30 percent of the degrees earned by Hispanic students.
The role of the HBCU institutions is particularly important at the level of doctoral instruction. One institution, Howard University, contributed nearly half of the doctoral degrees earned by African-American students in the field of journalism and mass communication in 2000-2001.
Even with the contribution of Howard to doctoral education, the doctoral pipeline for faculty positions is inadequate for diversification of the faculties of journalism and mass communication programs around the country.
If all the minority graduates of the nation’s communication and mass communication doctoral programs had been hired to serve on the faculties of journalism programs at the end of the 2000-2001 academic year, minority representation on those faculties would have increased by less than one percentage point. Only about 16 percent of the faculty currently are members of racial or ethnic minorities.
The research on the HBCU and HACU programs and the survey of doctoral programs were undertaken with special support from Knight Foundation.
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation promotes excellence in journalism worldwide and invests in the vitality of 26 U.S. communities.