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Home > Publications > SPJ Leads > Annual survey reveals decline in graduate job market

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SPJ Leads | 8/4/2010
Annual survey reveals decline in graduate job market


By Andrew M. Scott
SPJ Communications Department

ANNUAL SURVEY RELEASED. The results of the Annual Survey of Journalism & Mass Communication Graduates and the Annual Survey of Journalism and Mass Communication Enrollments were released today at the conference of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication in Denver.

The report details the experiences of 2,534 bachelor's degree recipients and 215 master's degree recipients from 84 journalism and mass communication programs in the United States.

The survey reports that the percentage of spring journalism and mass communication bachelor's degree recipients who reported having at least one job offer when they completed their studies dropped in 2009 by nearly 10 percentage points compared to a year earlier.

The survey also revealed that four in 10 of the graduates said there were specific skills they wish they had received as a part of their studies that they had not acquired. Technological skills were dominant among those missed.

The data did provide evidence that the poor job market is improving. Of the graduates returning the survey in November, only 46.5 percent reported having a full-time job. In May, the rate was 62.8 percent.

The survey was conducted by the Cox Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research at the University of Georgia. The report is sponsored by 14 media organizations, including the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation, SPJ's associated educational foundation.

See the Cox Center website for full results and surveys from previous years.

STUDENT FUNDRAISING FOR CONVENTION. With the SPJ Convention & National Journalism Conference, Oct. 3-5 in Las Vegas, just around the corner, it's understandable that student chapters need funding just to attend. SPJ is not oblivious to this, which is why the campus board members pulled together some fundraising ideas for campus chapters.

In this blog post from SPJ's The Campus Copy, students can discover six affordable, unique ways to hit the ground running this semester and make the big bucks needed to go to convention.

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles all cost money is just one of the trendy student chapter topics going on at The Campus Copy, so check back often for the latest discussions.

CANDIDATES SEEK OPEN SEATS. Chapter delegates will soon have the opportunity to shape the future of SPJ. At the 2010 Convention & National Journalism Conference, delegates will select board of directors candidates for 11 open seats. These elected board members will help lead SPJ by guiding national policy and setting priorities for the coming years.

A list of candidates who have come forward to run for an open seat is here on the SPJ Convention website. The election for non-regional positions will be Tuesday, Oct. 5. Regional directors will be selected during regional meetings Sunday, Oct. 3.

Interested individuals may still declare their candidacy by running from the floor during the opening business session Oct. 3. For questions, contact nominations committee chairman Dave Aeikens.

THREE CONVENTION HOT TOPICS. From environmental disasters to health care reform, the SPJ Convention & National Journalism Conference (#SPJ10 on Twitter) has journalists covered with professional development programs engaging fresh ideas and resources to reporting on these hot topics. And hurry, you only have until Sept. 8 to get the lowest possible early-bird registration rate. Click here for rates and registration information.

These sessions (among many others) will give you the leading edge in becoming a better, more informed journalist:

Haiti Earthquake: Covering the Tragedy with No End in Sight: Hear from reporters Carrie Kahn, NPR, and Jacqueline Charles, The Miami Herald, who were on the ground in the days and weeks following the earthquake. This session focuses on covering the basic five W's of breaking and continuing news along with what it takes to cover Haiti (and other disasters) after the extreme media frenzy and death tolls stop leading newscasts.

Relevant Reform: Covering Health Care in a Way that Matters: As a journalist, you'll want to know how to tell these stories in a way that's relevant to the audience. What has been covered well and what important issues have been underreported? How should the story change based on your audience? Participants will walk away with answers and resources for doing their own reporting.

Spill it: Expert Advice on Reporting the Oil Disaster: It's a slow-motion environmental catastrophe, and covering the Gulf oil spill requires comprehensive reporting across many disciplines: engineering and economics; science and the environment; politics; public policy; and law. This hard-hitting session with The New York Times' Adam Bryant will have journalists walking away with dozens of story ideas and new resources to help in producing relevant coverage for local communities.

Love these programs? That's not all the convention has to offer. Check the entire program listing HERE to see what other "cards" SPJ has up its sleeves to make your time in Vegas worthwhile.

Remember, the skills you learn in Vegas WON'T stay in Vegas.

CHAPTER RESOURCES: NEW BYLAWS. The Bylaws Committee has created a fresh set of model bylaws that chapters can now use when developing or revamping their current governing documents. These new bylaws can be accessed though the Tools for Leaders section of or you can read them HERE.

If you would like for the committee to review your current bylaws and offer feedback, please contact chairman Bob Becker at

LAST WEEK'S QUIZ. After 60 years in journalism, veteran broadcaster Daniel Schorr, who broke stories from the Cold War era to Watergate for CBS News before a second career as a news analyst for NPR, died Friday at the age of 93. How many Emmy awards did Schorr receive during his career and whose "enemies list" was he infamous for? What was his rank on the list?

A. Schorr won three Emmy awards and was #17 on President Richard Nixon's "enemies list."

And the winner is...

Cameron Harp, president of the Cal State Fullerton chapter of SPJ.

He even knew what years the Emmy awards were received: 1972, 1973 and 1974. Congrats, Cameron!

THIS WEEK'S QUIZ. The Newseum in Washington, D.C., currently holds the most comprehensive collection of Pulitzer Prize-winning photographs ever assembled. Among those on display, "Serious Steps," featuring presidents John F. Kennedy and Dwight D. Eisenhower, was the winner of the 1962 Pulitzer in photography. Who captured this iconic moment and for what bureau of The Associated Press? Just for extra credit, what date was the photo published?

Submit your answer to Andrew M. Scott.

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