Growing up in Central New Jersey, I experienced no shortage of access to major cities. Manhattan was a 45-minute train ride away; Boston and D.C., only four hours north and south, respectively. And for making the transition from intern to a professional in the news and media industries, there probably is no better place to be. Except maybe living in New York City itself.
Travel two hours outside the Tri-state area and job opportunities and internships drop significantly. Yet on the tiny island of Manhattan and the surrounding boroughs, media jobs reign.
A friend of mine from Indiana recently shared her media job struggles on Facebook. My immediate thought was, “Well how many jobs are even out there?”
The answer? It varies. On Mediabistro’s own job board, there are two listings in the state, posted almost a month ago. On JournalismJobs.com, there are about a dozen, most also a month old. On Indeed.com, the numbers jump to 106 when you enter journalism into the search bar, but most of those are executive positions that a recent graduate is unlikely to get.
For New York, the numbers are much different. Indeed has over 1,000 journalism jobs posted. Mediabistro has more than 600 — and JournalismJobs.com lists over 20 different media-related positions in Manhattan. When I was looking for my own internships and job opportunities, I very rarely searched outside of New York and New Jersey. Last summer, I interned in D.C. for two months, but that was as part of a program sponsored by The Fund for American Studies. Many of the other students there seemed to be from the Midwest, bred from corn and tornadoes. I think I was one of a handful recruited from the Northeast. I thought it was odd at first, but now I know. There really aren’t that many opportunities for students and recent grads in their home states.
Even other major cities, like Los Angeles, seem to lack journalism jobs. Indeed lists a little over 400. JournalismJobs.com has ten in LA (and only 48 for the entire state of California), and Mediabistro has 31 postings.
Media jobs and internships are already competitive. But for the struggling intern or recent grad trying to land his or her first reporter job, it’s even tougher. And once you get that coveted — hopefully paid — internship in New York, you’ll need to figure out where to live in a city where a studio apartment can cost as much as $1.5 million.
For theater majors with hopes of making it on Broadway, it’s expected that they’d have to pack their bags and move to New York. But relocating to the Big Apple will also have to cross your mind if you’re hoping for a career in journalism — especially now that local newspapers and media companies are struggling or shutting their doors altogether. Surely journalism and communications students will be arriving in droves to Manhattan — a city already filled to the brim with people with big dreams.
Read Andrew’s previous posts: