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As they shrink, are local newspapers protecting their “iron core” of local government coverage? This paper says no
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Aug. 2, 2019, 10:05 a.m.
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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.”

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