I’ve graduated…now what?

An outlook of employment opportunities in the mass communication industry

By Kyle J. Miller
Dr. Charles A. Lubbers
University of South Dakota


The employment outlook in any field is dictated by the balance of supply and demand. However, the available supply of college graduates and the demand for the graduates to fill a particular job category in a field can vary greatly.

Table1_DegreesAccording to a 2012 study by Becker, Vlad and Kalpen, 51,784 bachelor’s degrees were granted in the U.S. in 2011, and that number was only slightly larger than the year before.  They also noted that during 2011, 203,561 students were enrolled in bachelor’s programs, a decline of .05 percent from the year before.

Undergraduate students are studying a growing number of specializations within the mass communication field. This reflects changes in the terms used to describe the specializations, as well as a growth in those areas as a result of newer technologies.  As noted in Table 1, journalism, once the dominant specialization in the field, now accounts for slightly less than 30 percent of the students.  The next largest group of students is located in strategic communication programs. Students studying radio/television generally made up 4.9 percent.  Clearly the concentration of students is located in the areas of journalism and strategic communications, with significantly smaller numbers in the telecommunications field.

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Research Spotlight: Black and White and Still Read All Over

An Examination of the State of College Newspapers in a Turbulent Time

By Lisa Lyon Payne
Virginia Wesleyan College


Abstract: This paper provides an initial investigation of the current state of the college newspapers among liberal arts schools in the southeast. An online survey using both open and closed-ended questions examines variables such as method and frequency of publication, use of advertising and online presence. Only 37.5% of respondents reported having a journalism program at their institution, and those who contributed to the student newspaper came from majors ranging from biology to philosophy. While a full 100% of respondents reported having advertising in their college newspapers, about one-third of respondents reported they did not have an online edition of the paper. Most publications were fewer than 10 pages and did have a faculty adviser to the publication. Of the schools that participated, a majority said there is no class credit associated with their publications. Also of interest, just more than half of respondents stated staff writers receive some form of compensation for their contributions to the publication; where this compensation comes from varies.

MugLogo_PayneIntroduction

What do Twitter, the iPad and a campus newspaper have in common? Current literature suggests that all three are a preferred communication choice for many of today’s college students (The Washington Times, March 8, 2012). Despite the slow and agonizing decline of traditional newspapers, research indicates that even in this modern, wireless world of communication, many college students gravitate toward the print version of their campus newspaper over an electronic version. Additionally, despite the woes of the traditional news daily, many student newspapers appear to be weathering the storm with fewer economic troubles (Keller 2008, Supiano 2012).

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Editors note

It’s payback time

Bob Bergland

The year was 1989. Reagan had just ended his term as office and I was an undergraduate searching for a topic for my senior honors thesis. As editor of my college newspaper at Millikin University, I was interested in researching media ethics at college newspapers. After discovering the existence of College Media Review (actually College Press Review, before the name change) and finding several valuable ethics articles in the journal, I was on my way.

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Research Spotlight: Caught in the Balance

Information Access in an Era of Privatized Public Higher Education

By Alexa Capeloto
CUNY in New York City


Introduction

Public information laws at the federal and state level enshrine a citizen’s right to petition public agencies for access to records and meetings related to the business of governance. Most such laws make no explicit mention, however, of private entities that do public work either instead of or in addition to what public agencies provide. As a result of vague or insufficient laws and ambiguous court decisions, information that might once have been accessible could potentially be withheld from the public because it has moved into the private domain. The tension between privatization and public access today is intensifying as public agencies increasingly contract out services, accept corporate sponsorship, create quasi-public entities or otherwise transact with private organizations and individuals. Nowhere is this more evident than at public colleges and universities, which are turning to privatization as state revenue, fiscal prioritizing and even the philosophical underpinnings of public education shift around them. In every state, student media journalists and advisers at public colleges should study relevant legislation and case law surrounding this issue, review contracts and communications with private entities and, when warranted, push for access when schools close the door on information that might once have been obtained with a simple request. This article is meant to provide a beginning for that process.

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Book Review: Journalists around the world killed while doing their jobs

“War on Words: Who Should Protect Journalists” full of  in-depth research and interviews with 60 sources

By Pat Winters Lauro

During World War II, 37 American journalists were killed on the job, including the famous war correspondent Ernie Pyle, who was shot dead by a Japanese sniper in the Pacific.

In contrast, more than 1,000 journalists and their essential support staff, including drivers and translators, have been killed in just the last 10 years, according to the International News Safety Institute – and not necessarily because they were caught in crossfire. In a number of cases, they were targeted because of their jobs.  And their murderers got away with it.  According to INSI, eight of 10 murders of journalists have never been investigated.

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Research Spotlight: Media advisory board — friend or foe?

Student media advisers give high marks for priorities, performance of publication boards

By LEI XIE and JAMES SIMON
Fairfield University

Abstract – College journalists often have their work evaluated by campus Media Advisory Boards. Student editors complain some boards have used their oversight role to censor or indirectly exert control over the print or broadcast product. This exploratory study seeks to determine how often Media Advisory Boards exist and what factors correlate with a school having such a board.  This study, based on a national survey of members of the College Media Advisers organization (N = 157), is designed to provide baseline data on such questions as how boards differ in title and size, what characteristics of a school help explain differences in the composition of a board, and what are the most common functions of a board. The results can be useful to schools considering creation of such a board, to schools examining the operations of their current board, and to various constituencies – student editors, journalism faculty, administrators – involved with the student press. Continue reading

Research spotlight: Top student news websites share multimedia, interactive features

As college budgets become tighter and news consumer habits change, all eyes are on how student media is adapting to changes. This study of student news websites that sit in the Pacemaker Winners’ Circle describes the features that push them to the front of the pack in multimedia, interactivity and content management.

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Research spotlight: Peer-to-peer mentoring works in the college newsroom

Student journalists crave feedback on their work, but it doesn’t always have to come from their advisers. This study shows peer-to-peer mentoring positively impacts the students who participate and brings time-strapped advisers some relief as duties change.

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