The opportunities for print reporters are greater in Asia today than in America or Europe.
That’s according to Lauren Dockett, JMSC teaching assistant and internship consultant.
Dockett, who joined the JMSC staff in September 2011, hails from New York, where she’s seen a rapid decline in the traditional newspaper industry over the last decade.
“In the US, the situation for newspapers is dire,” said Dockett. “We’ve lost a third of all newspaper jobs in the last 10 years. That’s tens of thousands of jobs. Some analysts believe that only the really big papers like the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and Washington Post are going to survive.”
“Regional dailies that are surviving have become very thin papers run on a much reduced staff,” she continued. “Hiring is a real problem for recent graduates who have their heart set on being an old school print reporter. It’s really very tough.”
Since her arrival at the JMSC, Dockett has been organising internships and fielding job announcements for alumni. She’s been impressed with the number of opportunities available for students to gain work experience in Asia, and for the higher number and quality of the jobs available to recent graduates. Dockett says this reflects a better job market for journalism graduates in the region.
“The Pew Research Centre (an American think tank) looks at the state of the media every year,” said Dockett. “Usually it looks at the States but last year it had a more global perspective when it looked at newspapers. It found that the U.S. and European markets are still faltering but that Asia — especially countries like India and China — is doing much better.”
“I find Hong Kong surprising in that it has so many newspapers,” she said. “For some populations, reading a paper still has cachet. And there is evidence that countries with growing literacy rates and middle classes are supporting newspapers. I also think that Asia at large is doing better than America or Europe because there are fewer people with online access. In the U.S. now, people tend to get their news from television and online.”
This is good news for journalists wishing to embark on a career in print in Asia. However, it’s also a sign of the times that students should make sure they have a rounded set of skills so that they can branch into online and broadcast journalism should they need to or want to.
The JMSC offers instruction in a broad range of practical and theoretical journalism subjects, including online journalism and broadcast journalism.