Study: Journalism Students Don't Read Newspapers, Magazines, or Books

Study: Journalism Students Don't Read Newspapers, Magazines, or Books

A new survey indicates that a majority of journalism school graduates do not read newspapers, magazines, and books–preferring to get their news and entertainment electronically via TV, social media, and the Internet.

The study put out by the University of Georgia surveyed journalism school graduates and asked respondents about their interests, the jobs they take upon leaving journalism school, as well as their starting salaries.

The 2012 Annual Survey of Journalism & Mass Communication Graduates revealed that these students just do not read print media anymore. The study found that only one third of the students had read a newspaper the day before taking the survey. That is a drop of 81 percent since 1994.

The report also found that almost all used social media, and three-quarters got most of their news from the Internet and television.

The report says:

Only about a third of the journalism and mass communication bachelor’s degree recipients in 2012 reported they had read a newspaper the day before completing the survey, the lowest figure since the question was first posed in 1994. In fact, the 36.6% who reported reading a newspaper in 2012 is less than half the 81.7% reporting that behavior in 1994. Most journalism and mass communication graduates also didn’t read a magazine the day before completing the survey or read a book. Both figures were down significantly from a year earlier.

The 2012 journalism and mass communication graduates are much like the graduates of a year earlier in terms of their use of electronic media. About six in 10 reported watching television news the day before the survey, and four in 10 reporting listening to radio news. Three-quarters read or viewed news online, and two-thirds read, viewed or heard news on a mobile device. Online and mobile device use is the dominant news platform for the graduates. The online news category can overlap the mobile category, making a comparison difficult.

Upon release of the study, Paul Bedard recently posited that the news of how few journalism school grads consume print media “could be the final blow to paper and ink news.”

“If today’s journalists don’t read print, why should those they are writing for read magazines and newspapers?” Bedard asked.

Starting pay in the field is also falling. The report notes that starting salaries are no more than $32,000 annually, $10,000 less than starting salaries in other fields.

Twenty-eight percent of these students said they regretted going into journalism in the first place.