Newspaper Jobs Fell Sharply As Broadcast, Internet Positions Rose: Study

Employment for journalists has fallen steadily at newspapers in recent decades, but it has grown among broadcasting and internet publishers, according to "Stop the Presses," a study by Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy.  

From 1990 to 1999, there were 251,000 newspaper jobs and 241,900 jobs in broadcasting. But from 2010 to 2020, newspaper positions plummeted to 93,400. In contrast, broadcasting employed 339,900, while internet publishing employed 87,200.

The number of bachelor's degrees in journalism peaked in 2002, with 16,300 degrees awarded. The awarding of master’s degrees hit a high of 2,000 in 2014 and 2015.

But 90% of those who are working in journalism as editors or reporters have bachelor’s degrees or higher, up from 79% in the 1980s.  

Sadly, 85% of journalism majors pursue occupations other than those of news analyst, reporter and correspondent or editor.  



Women now comprise roughly 40% of news editors and reporters. And women now dominate master’s programs.

Whites made up 75% of newsroom employees in the 2010-2020 period, down from 80% in 2000-2009 and 91% in 1990-1999. 

One fifth of all journalists now live in New York, Los Angeles or Washington, DC. 

Journalism degrees are not the most lucrative. “At the bachelor’s degree level, the economic value of a degree in communication, journalism, and related programs ranks 14th out of 34 major groups categorized by the College Scorecard,” the study notes. 

But it adds that “returns vary substantially by institution. At the bachelor’s degree level, journalism majors have the highest earnings net of debt payments from George Washington University, at $52,800. 

In general, median annual earnings for those with bachelor’s degrees in journalism average $40,800. 

Meanwhile, the study states: “Radio, television, and digital communication majors who attended the Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus earn more than journalism majors, with earnings net of debt of $66,000 three years after graduation." 


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