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Media student worried about finding a secure job in journalism

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RNZ

09 July 2024, 12:28 AM

Media student worried about finding a secure job in journalism

Students are thinking twice about a career in the news industry due to the uncertainties facing it.


With the recent layoffs at major news outlets causing concerns about jobs, students could be put off pursuing a journalism career.


Last April, Warner Brothers Discovery announced the closure of Newshub and a loss of 294 jobs, with TVNZ also announcing job cuts.


Newshub closed on Friday after 35 years of delivering daily news bulletins.





AUT senior lecturer of communications Dr Gregory Treadwell said it was a difficult time in the industry and students were right to be worried.


"It is a complex situation at the moment, especially with students worrying about whether journalism is the right thing to get into. If the health system is under pressure, fewer people want to go to medical school, if the media sector is facing problems, fewer people will want to become journalist."


The number of people in New Zealand who listed their profession as journalist, according to the 2018 census was roughly 1635 across the industry.


Final year journalism student Ben McQueen said he was uncertain about his chances of entering the industry.


"As a media student, I do worry about what the future is going to look like. At the current internship I'm doing, no one on the team is on a full-term contract. I find this concerning and I fail to see how an up-and-coming student can be able to make a solid start."





Dr Treadwell said it was disappointing that interest in journalism was dropping. He said the role of a journalist was important in a democracy and more needed to be done to train the next generation.


"We need more journalists in this country, our media is not big enough to function. Journalism is an important position in our society and is needed for the public interest.


"Back when I started teaching 20 years ago, there were specialised journalism schools all across the country, they are all gone now. There are only a few institutes left that teach journalism and it is not enough."