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Newmark J-School Study Finds Strong Demand for Certain Types of Journalism Jobs

  • By Amy Dunkin
Bob Sacha

A new study of nearly 600,000 online job postings from 2015 to 2017 found pockets of strength in the journalism labor market even as the overall market appeared to contract.

News organizations of all stripes, from newspapers and TV stations to online startups, sought journalists with skills in multimedia storytelling and audience analytics and engagement.

Job postings for bilingual journalists fluent in English and Spanish were also on the rise, particularly in the broadcast field. That’s good news for students enrolled in the Newmark J-School’s ground-breaking Spanish-language Journalism Program.

The study was commissioned by the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY. The research was conducted by Emsi, a labor market analytics firm based in Moscow, Idaho.

“We knew that tech skills were increasingly in demand, but our study finds that even today the growth of demand is striking,” said Jeff Jarvis, director of the Tow-Knight Center.

Initial results from the study were presented on Sept. 13 at the Online News Association’s annual conference in Austin, TX. Among the findings:

  • Tech skills were sought after across the industry’s segments — and were required in a growing share of postings for journalists with traditional reporting and editing skills.
  • Audience analytics and engagement expertise was also in demand, as were a variety of multimedia production skills.
  • TV broadcasters sought to hire Spanish speakers, as well as journalists with investigative skills.
  • Online job postings by more than 3,000 news media organizations in all major segments of the news industry nationwide dropped 31.7% from 2015 to 2017, compared to a 5.7% increase in postings by a benchmark set of non-media employers.

Tow-Knight and the Newmark J-School plan to publish a detailed written report on the study’s final results and methods this fall.