Monday, June 13, 2011

Quote, unquote: Spin drift

“The problem is, more and more journalists and college graduates are forgoing the trenches to pursue a different career path. Instead of reporting the news, they’re working to help manipulate it as public relations specialists. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in fact, in 1980 there were .45 PR people and .36 journalists per every 100,000 workers. As of 2008, that number had shifted radically. There are now .90 PR people per 100,000 workers and just .25 journalists. As Columbia Journalism Review reports in its May-June 2011 issue, that’s a ratio of more than three-to-one, better equipped and better financed to influence what the public sees and hears.”
  -- from the May-June 2011 issue of the Columbia Journalism Review, as reported by Utne Reader. [H/T to Jowita Bydlowska.]

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2 Comments:

Blogger typicallydia said...

I feel the 'trenches' are forgoing the graduates. Sometimes, these figures ignore the fact that people do not have the luxury of sitting back and waiting months or years for the Dream Job. Everyone needs income and if that comes in the form of a PR job, so be it.

Abolishing the unpaid internship may assist. Less graduates can afford to work for free.

8:41 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While dealing with a lack of staff resources, journalists are also facing the challenge of speed and breadth: they are expected to turn out articles for print as well as the web, multimedia such as videos, and web exclusives such as Q&As and photo galleries. And all of this on top of keeping up with their blog and twitter account.

Speaking as a PR rep, quite a lot of PR resources are being spent to correct misinformation and follow up on poor or unfinished reporting. You would think it would be impossible to print a news article without conducting any interviews whatsoever, but you would be wrong! Nobody wins when journalists are stretched so far.

10:04 pm  

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