What direction is journalism’s future going in?

The widespread opinion of mums, dads, businessmen, MPs and even journalists, is that the journalism industry is declining.

The widespread opinion of mums, dads, businessmen, MPs and even journalists, is that the journalism industry is declining.

Lack of journalism applications

Log on to the TSR – that’s The Student Rooms to me and you – an online community where students and other people get advice, from life to university choices to what jobs are packing in the money.

Last year when I logged on to TSR, I found quite a lot of students applying to do Journalism, and as you can see from the image above, this year there is not much activity on the ‘Media, Film and Journalism’ board on the forum. Even though there are quite a few posts on this board, journalism seems to be hidden in the shadow with questions about Media Production and Film courses outshining it.

So, what accounts for the lack of determination and interest to crack into the journalism industry?

Issue 1: Economy

Well, the economic climate is one reason why students are reluctant to enter the industry. With more and more jobs in other sectors becoming hard to find and lots of people being made redundant, a job in the newspaper industry is like gold dust. A challenge which could easily deter said ‘student.’ The New Statesman justifies this notion that there is a decline in the number of journalism jobs in the UK.

One type of journalism which has been in and out of the papers, ironically, is the newspaper industry. The recession hit newspapers hard, even today people setting up new newspapers are being shot down faster that you can say ‘newspaper’. The problem with the decline in newspapers is the fact that us students don’t pay for them, and this affects journalists’ salaries.

Therefore leaving editors no choice but to give reporters the boot as they can’t afford to keep paying them, and an industry which was already competitive has now almost closed the door to budding journalists. Qualifications and employability are not only a must – but journalists now need to have a range of other skills in order to beat their fellow competitors.

They need to have ‘multimedia skills’ which leads me to my next point for why the newspaper industry is effectively running its last hurdles. With the news now being more accessible online  people can get access to news at a touch of a button.

This raises the question: if people can simply log on the internet whenever they want, why should they buy newspapers?

Issue 2: Internet

The internet has effectively made newspapers get their, for a lack of a better term, ‘arses’ into gear and compete fiercely for readership over the web. And instead of newspapers primarily focusing on how many they sell a day, it’s all about how many hits their website gets an hour.

Thus some good has come out of the internet. New jobs are being invented such as Online News editor and some suggest that these jobs could cancel out the job losses in newspaper journalism.

Also, the internet has allowed people to unleash their ‘inner journalist’ by making blogs – not only to voice their opinion but to provide news themselves.

Future of Journalism?

So to state that the journalism industry is declining is simply too blunt. It’s not declining, it’s simply evolving. The introduction of the internet has shown that today’s journalism has worked with technological advances which have allowed this ‘evolution.’

This ‘evolution’ shows us that those budding journalists should still have hope. And if they really have the determination to get into the industry, a little money and technology problem should not stop them.

Here’s a piece of advice, if you really want to get into this tough industry buy a newspaper and help your fellow journalist out, if you don’t help pay for their salaries, who will pay for yours?

What do you think? What direction is the future of journalism going in? Have your say in the comments section below, on Facebook or on Twitter.