So Where’s the Beef with J-School Enrollment?

The latest Journalism Industry Scaring Students story appeared yesterday in The Arkansas Traveler at the University of Arkansas.  As the nut graf mentioned, “They [j-students] hear about the decline of newspapers, the layoffs, the buyouts.  They hear about the drop in advertising revenue, the hiring freezes . . . [a]nd they’re worried.” 

 

Butttt, as this piece and others have noted, students are still enrolling in journalism schools and within j-departments at universities nationwide.  In fact, enrollment at most schools/depts. is growing (although many related articles admit the basic news-editorial sequence is not as robust as yesteryear). 

 

So, where’s the beef?  Seriously, with “harsh job prospects” awaiting them, according to the Traveler, why are students still enrolling en masse?  Is it their love of writing?  Their infatuation with the pop culture aura of the journalist-as-superhero?  Their loathing of other subjects like math and science?  Their idealistic belief that they will be one of the remaining few to merge the words newspaper and career together?  Or maybe their hope that new media’s worldwide (web) domination will soon lead to an explosion of related j-jobs?  

 

In the words of Joe Grimm, j-industry guru:

 

Interest remains high, journalism school enrollment stays strong, students are interested and willing-there just aren’t as many jobs.

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  1. […] are separate events, but certainly both point to a similar professional-academic disconnect, something I’ve written about before.  What do you think?  Is it still practical to major in journalism?  Will it eventually become a […]

  2. […] I have previously opined about possible reasons for this dichotomy.  My gut reaction: I love it.  Now we just have to make sure the news-ed sequences everywhere meets students’ needs. […]