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Articles in journalism reviews and media trade publications have lamented the decline of morale in the nation's newsrooms. The survey findings, however, suggest that job satisfaction actually is increasing, at least among those who have chosen to stay in the field. After falling for 20 years, the percentage of journalists who are "very satisfied" with their jobs bounced up in 2002, to 33.3 percent. That's a 6 percentage point gain since the last survey. Nonetheless, that figure remains well below the 49 percent who were "very satisfied" in 1971.

When coupled with the 50.6 percent who said they were "fairly" satisfied in 2002, that leaves only 16.1 percent who said they were dissatisfied and of those, only 1.7 percent said they were "very" dissatisfied. This was a decline from 1992 when 22.4 percent said they were "somewhat" or "very" dissatisfied. Women were less satisfied in 2002 than were men, with 71.7 percent of women journalists saying "fairly" or "very" satisfied compared with 86.6 percent of male journalists. No significant differences were found for journalists of color.

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