Temple Grad Students Feel Broadcast Journalism is ‘Safer’

By Richard Horgan Comment

Author-journalist Thom Nickels has an interesting recap on the Huffington Post of a recent event at Temple University. He was part of a panel that also included Philadelphia Daily News columnist Elmer Smith and says one of the first things he learned is that most graduate students in the audience had already bailed on print:

I was surprised to discover that the vast majority of students were broadcast journalism majors.

With the closing and bankruptcy of so many newspapers across the country, there seemed to be a consensus among the students that a career in print journalism was suspect, whereas a career in broadcast journalism – where there have been no reported of closings of television news departments – was “safer.”

Although there have of course at times been TV industry layoffs, this week would seem to bear out the students’ perspective. A day after Al Jazeera America announced the hiring of a dozen U.S. correspondents, the Cleveland Plain Dealer today laid off approximately 50 staff.

Nevertheless, Nickels had a lot of good print advice for his audience just in case: be prepared after graduation to move to a smaller, less glamorous city; expect some freelance outlets to have trouble paying promptly; and be aware of just how devastating, to your job security, the replacement of a top editor might be.

As a side note, four Temple journalism students already overseas recently joined the reporter crowd covering the arrival of the royal baby. Read about their experiences here.