Grads Not Heading to Local Media (or Reading it)
It scares me too, but typical communications grads aren’t necessarily news junkies, according to a newly released annual survey of new communications grads by The University of Georgia. Even though grads aren't especially big consumers of news in any medium, they are optimistic that media jobs will be there for them.
The UGA survey found that 75 percent saw a TV news program "yesterday," less than 60 percent read a paper, and 50 percent heard news on the radio. These figures are on par with "civilian" use rates. Are the newly minted communications professionals all using the Internet for news instead? Not really. Less than 60 percent typically read news online on any given day.
Looking forward, eight of 10 believe that "most people" will get their news from the Internet in 20 years. Still, that doesn't mean that Internet sites are where they want to work. Just 6.3 percent of the new communication grads interviewed for an Internet job this year. Less than 19 percent applied at a daily, 18.4 percent applied for a TV job, less than 23 percent applied at a PR agency, and 22.3 percent applied at an ad agency.
One more finding: Most don't believe that newspapers and TV nets will collapse. Two-thirds expect current TV nets to survive 20 years, and three-quarters said major cities will have "at least one newspaper" in 20 years.
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Going into the news business without devouring the news is like wanting to become a gourmet chef when all you ever eat is cold cereal and Kraft macaroni and cheese (with ketchup). I’m glad they think traditional media will be there to pay them in the future. But since they rarely read anything, I wonder if this view of the future is the result of any fact-based analysis, or just the vague hopefulness of lazy minds.