James McPherson's Media & Politics Blog

Observations of a patriotic progressive historian, media critic & former journalist


  • By the author of The Conservative Resurgence and the Press: The Media’s Role in the Rise of the Right and of Journalism at the End of the American Century, 1965-Present. A former journalist with a Ph.D. in journalism, history and political science, McPherson is a past president of the American Journalism Historians Association and a board member for the Northwest Alliance for Responsible Media.

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Prospects grim for many communication grads

Posted by James McPherson on November 17, 2010

There’s not much to say, beyond the headline above and what’s offered in the annual survey report (complete with more than 85 graphs and charts), for which the brief summary notes:

All indicators of the health of the market in 2009 and early 2010 showed declines from a year earlier, which already had produced record low levels of employment.

Salaries remained unchanged for the fourth consecutive year, meaning that graduates actually were receiving less money because of the effects of inflation.

Benefit packages also continued to get skimpier.

I am happy to say that my university is stressing the need for our grads to acquire some of the things survey respondents said they most needed. “A quarter of those who mentioned a skill they had not acquired made a reference to graphic design, layout, or software for photo and graphic presentations … nearly one in 10 offered this suggestion. Nearly two in 10 of those with a skill suggestion mentioned something to do with the Internet.”

I suspect it’s not coincidental that a much higher percentage of our journalism and mass communication grads have been getting jobs in their field than some better-known schools.

And yet even now some blogger somewhere is posting his latest screed–perhaps something about how we need to keep tax cuts and cut off unemployment benefits, or how we should let workers and businesses worry about who has health insurance–while hoping he’ll be “discovered” so he can give up his day job and get rich by sharing his wit and wisdom with the masses.

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4 Responses to “Prospects grim for many communication grads”

  1. josiah said

    Yesssss indeed! Screed this is. You too would look good in an unemployment line! : ) You and your traitorous Commie friends, one and all! Remember; you’ve brought it on yourselves!

  2. High unemployment is among the many consequences of an economic depression. Contrary to the wishful thinking of mainstream economists, there won’t be a double dip — we haven’t climbed out of the initial dip, induced by passing the world oil peak. As forward-thinking as your university’s approach has been so far, I’ll be particularly impressed when Whitworth starts teaching how to hunt, gather, and grow food. As we head into the post-industrial Stone Age, those are the skills with real utility. In the near term, it wouldn’t hurt to inform students about the twin sides of the fossil-fuel coin (global climate change and energy decline), including how we got here and where we’re headed.

  3. bcorp said

    Energy is the driver of an economy, and less expensive energy drives job growth. Textile industry relocated from NJ to NC due to less expensive energy costs many years ago, now it is where? In China. Why? Energy costs and goverment regulations, and labor costs due to unions. The manufacturing sector of the USA is a ghost town. Energy, real energy, not pie in the sky like solar and wind, is the answer. Those who want to disagree can just go and evaluate Spain and it’s embracing of the solar and wind energy. Today on USA soil are reserves, according to the USGS I have seen, are substantial resources of oil. From what I saw these finds if extracted could supply oil for the USA needs for perhaps 300 years. With this much energy supply a USA manufacturing sector could well recover nearly immediately. Millions of jobs would be created, government would reap the rewards of lease revenues and tax revenues. Has this even been considered? Well yes it has and it has been rejected. Question is why? Instead the focus has been on the dead end road of alternatives that are not cost effective or for that matter efficient. Give science the time and the resources to discover the real alternative, which they will, but in the mean time we have to utilize the resources we have and stop paying others for what we have on our own lands. Yes, coal and natural gas also. Lumping them all together we have many more years of energy.

  4. James McPherson said

    Guy, we actually do grow some of our food on campus, and a few of us know how to hunt, but I suspect most of us are out of luck in that regard. On the other hand, our junior-level Core class taken by all students does discuss peak oil, so I suspect we are at least a little more aware of it than most Americans.

    Thanks, all, for the comments–even if I don’t understand how my fictional “commie” status is relevant to my students, most of whom are conservatives.

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