It’s been noted often how young people — and I still like to consider myself young even though I’m now 30 — are not reading newspapers. We’re technologically savvy and reading our news online. We don’t subscribe to newspapers, for the most part. I personally haven’t subscribed to a newspaper since I was in college eight years ago, which was when many news Web sites were still in their infancy. And I work in newspapers.
So why are we still applying so often for newspaper jobs? The editor of the Midland Daily News doesn’t understand the phenomenon.
I’ve been trained to do an assortment of technological jobs on the Web for news, and I use them for my job. Yet I still apply for newspaper reporting jobs.
Unlike many of my reporter counterparts, however, I do apply for online journalism jobs.
For the most part, though, those jobs do not necessarily involve reporting or writing. And that’s why so many young journalists don’t apply for the jobs. They want to report.
I can say for myself that I used to be trapped in that mindset. Before I was in graduate school, I would see an online journalism job and push it aside. I wanted to report. But it’s a mistake. Just because you start off not reporting doesn’t mean you’ll forever be in that mode. When I was in college, I had a professor for Web publishing who worked for washingtonpost.com. He did mainly coding. Today, however, he writes a blog for the Washington Post. I probably could have worked for him when I graduated college, but it was part-time and there was no reporting.
But I can also see beyond me. In at least one graduate class I heard a classmate say how they wanted to work for a newspaper and not be online because there was no reporting.
If there was more reporting online — and the trend is starting — we’d probably see a shift in the number of young journalists who are applying to newspapers.