Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
What I learned from a year on Substack
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
Aug. 2, 2019, 10:05 a.m.
Business Models
LINK: medium.com  ➚   |   Posted by: Laura Hazard Owen   |   August 2, 2019

More than a quarter of newspapers with a circulation of 50,000-plus laid off employees in 2018 — often in multiple rounds — and 14 percent of digital media sites had layoffs too. Some laid-off employees will find new jobs in the same industry. Others are getting out altogether.

Luis Gomez, a digital journalist based in San Diego who sends out a California media jobs newsletter each Friday, has been collecting stories and information from people who’ve left the journalism profession altogether. In a Medium series beginning this week, Gomez writes about what he’s learned.

Of the 160 former journalists who responded to the survey, here are some insights they offered:

— 58% of them said they left news and journalism in the last three years (from 2016 to 2019).
— 18% of them have left news/journalism in 2019 alone.
— 45% of them had worked in journalism for more than 10 years.
— 16% of them had work experience of two to five years.
— 81% of them studied journalism at a four-year college or university.
— 87% (or 139 respondents) said they had worked in news print at one point.
— The most common profession they chose after news was public relations.

Among other professions that they chose: food service, teaching, social work, library science, medicine, technology, security, the Peace Corps, agriculture, just to name a few.

Gomez also talks to 10 journalists about their reasons for leaving, and offers advice from those who left for other people who might be thinking about exiting the industry.

“Think about what you loved about journalism and how those skills might translate into a more marketable and enjoyable career path with a future,” one respondent, who is now an online college professor, said. Another, who now works in communications and content marketing, insists, “Journalism will always be there for those who care about it — readers and journalists alike.”

Show tags Show comments / Leave a comment
 
Join the 50,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
What I learned from a year on Substack
“The only way a Substack grows is through tweets. I am like 85% serious when I say this.”
True Genius: How to go from “the future of journalism” to a fire sale in a few short years
Genius (née Rap Genius) wanted to “annotate the world” and give your content a giant comment section you can’t control. Now it can’t pay back its investors.
This study shows how people reason their way through echo chambers — and what might guide them out
“You really don’t know whether this person making a good-sounding argument is really smart, is really educated, or whether they’re just reading off something that they read on Twitter.”