Outside of major markets, 12,000 jobs have disappeared in the last decade

The Washington Post

Washington Post economic policy correspondent Jim Tankersley ran some numbers in an attempt to explain why two of this year's Pulitzer Prize winners have gone to work in public relations. The answer? There are far fewer jobs in journalism throughout the United States now than there were 10 years ago. And the jobs in journalism just aren't as lucrative as their public relations counterparts.

Tankersley's article, which draws on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, shows that the journalism industry shed 12,000 jobs outside of major markets in the last decade, even as the public relations industry flourished. In cities outside Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and New York, one out of every four journalism jobs disappeared while 20,000 new public relations jobs were added:

If you want a reporting job today, your best bet is to move to D.C., L.A. or New York. They were home to almost one in every five reporting jobs in 2014, up from one in eight in 2004. Anywhere else, your journalistic job options are dwindling. If you hold on to one, your wages probably aren’t keeping pace with inflation. But public relations is growing, and the pay there is, too.

The Pulitzer Prizes recently shined a gilded spotlight on the economic pressures that journalists face as the industry convulses. Rob Kuznia, a Pulitzer Prize winner-turned publicist, told The New York Times after his win that he left the industry because he couldn't pay the bills. Natalie Caula Hauff, a former reporter for The (Charleston, South Carolina) Post and Courier, went to work as a media relations coordinator before the paper won a Pulitzer Prize for public service for an article she co-bylined.

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    Benjamin Mullin

    Benjamin Mullin is the managing editor of Poynter.org. He previously reported for Poynter as a staff writer, Google Journalism Fellow and Naughton Fellow, covering journalism innovation, business practices and ethics.


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