Traditional Journalism Careers Decline Revealing Need For Innovation

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As I anxiously anticipate graduating next month, CareerCast.com reminds me to stay grounded.


Last week, CareerCast.com published a report ranking 200 jobs from best to worst for 2014. The report sheds light on occupational trends, and unsurprisingly, a few journalism jobs were ranked in the lower half — newspaper reporter ranking the lowest at No. 199.


While there are certainly more than 200 jobs out there, journalism professionals should be grateful to have reached the top 200 careers now that we’re in the digital age.


I believe it’s important to note that enlisted military personnel ranks higher than a newspaper reporter despite the fact that a newspaper reporter’s annual median salary is $8,250 more and the risk of being killed on the job is lower.


Perhaps the “Projected Job Growth by 2022” inverts the ranking between the two. The projected growth for a newspaper reporter is negative 13 percent, while the projected growth for enlisted military personnel is “Not Applicable.”


Obviously we can’t predict how many wars we’ll be in at that time. Yet, enlisted military personnel still looks like the “safer” option to pursue — depending on your definition of safe, of course.


Ultimately, this report reveals the declining trend of traditional journalism and the rise of the tech industry. So what does that mean for aspiring journalists? Stop whining and start innovating.


The traditional role of a journalist is no longer unique. As more people acquire digital tools such as a smartphones with a camera, the less valuable the traditional role of the reporter becomes.


This is precisely why we need to innovate. Traditional careers such as newspaper reporter and photojournalist may become obsolete, but new roles within the industry will be increasing in demand. By 2022, I imagine all the traditional career choices will be nonexistent.


However, new positions will surface. Positions such as multimedia/digital reporter, social editor and content curator/analyst. I’d even go as far as to say there will be positions available that we can’t possibly conceive yet here in the present.


CareerCast.com’s report might have given a few journalists a heart attack, but if you’re in the industry, please understand this is more like a golden opportunity than a death sentence. With this in mind, anxiety wanes as the possibilities become endless.

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