Enrollment Continues to Erode at U.S. Journalism Schools

Jul 8, 2014  •  Post A Comment

U.S. journalism schools are seeing a decline in enrollment, with declines now recorded for both 2011 and 2012, reports the American Journalism Review.

The decline has earned “a variety of responses from the schools and [raises] questions about the future of journalism education,” the article notes.

In the case of the Missouri School of Journalism, which suffered a 9% enrollment decline across two recent years, the school offered more financial aid, which helped to attract more students, the story says.

The article reports: “Collectively, enrollments in journalism and communication schools nationwide recently fell two years in a row for the first time in two decades, according to an annual study conducted by the University of Georgia’s James M. Cox Jr. Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research. The nationwide decline covered the years starting in fall 2011 and fall 2012, and came at a time of growth for universities overall."

The changing fortunes of the media sector may be leading some students to question “the security of the enterprise,” Lee B. Becker, a University of Georgia professor and author of the study, told the publication. He added, “The decline of the mainstream media certainly is something that you would expect the student and the parent to be aware of.”

Still, it’s unclear whether the two-year trend means the beginning of a longer-term trend, American Press Institute executive director Tom Rosenstiel said.

“This [study], to some extent, probably reflects the fact that the economic model that subsidized news for much of the last century has been disrupted in ways that are well-documented and publicized,” he said. “If you’re a young person, you’re wondering, ‘Will I have a job?’ and, ‘How much money will I make?’”

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