“Yahoo! Education” Declares Reporting a Dying Career, Suggests Becoming a PR Specialist Instead

800px-Anna_reporterFirst, consider how the name “Yahoo! Education” could be interpreted.

With that in mind, consider whether Terence Loose had a straight face when he wrote in the recent article Dying Careers You Should Avoid for “Yahoo! Education:”

Dying Career #2: Reporter

They say a species must adapt or die, and with the trend of the Internet replacing print journalism (you are reading this on the computer, after all), media folks who don’t adjust might not survive too much longer. In short, many reporters could be going the way of their typewriters soon.

Projected Decline: Reporter and correspondent positions are expected to decline by 8 percent from 51,900 jobs in 2010 to 48,000 in 2020, for a total of nearly 4,000 jobs lost, says the U.S. Department of Labor

Why It’s Dying: The Department of Labor says that because of the trend of consolidation of media companies and the decline in readership of newspapers, reporters will find there are fewer available jobs.

So, if you have a hankering for writing, you might look into…

Alternative Career: Public Relations Specialist

In the new world of Facebook, Twitter, and all things Web, the public image of a company has never been more important, and so the role of public relations specialist is a vital one. These are the people who evaluate advertising programs, write press releases, and communicate with the media and public to promote a company’s public image, according to U.S. Department of Labor.

Projected Growth: The Department projects openings for PR specialists to grow by 23 percent from 2010 to 2020, which equals 58,200 new jobs.

Why It’s Growing: Thanks to the fact that both good and bad news spreads quickly in the Internet age, the Department says that companies need PR specialists to respond to these news developments. “With the popularity of social media marketers, specializing in that will be absolutely critical in the future. These people will be sought after by most companies,” says Susan Heathfield, a management consultant and writer of About.com’s Guide to Human Resources.

Education Options: The Department says public relations specialists normally need a bachelor’s degree, with employers usually wanting applicants to have studied public relations, communications, journalism, English, or business.

You can’t make money telling the truth, so learn to be a better liar!

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  • Hadrian999

    I am studying journalism, just had a PR class. I would rather crawl across broken glass than work in PR. The journalism game is changing but it won’t go away

    • Liam_McGonagle

      This may not be precisely your cuppa, but you could consider adapting your journalistic skills to black ops research. You’d be furthering the internal moral rot at the heart of the oligarchal structure–all the more so if you were able somehow to play both sides at the same time.

      Could be kind of tricky, but your weapons expertise could come in handy there.

      • Hadrian999

        I’ve always fancied the idea of being a Journalist/spy for the people

    • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

      i think an important observation of this article in this title: “Yahoo! Education”

  • Liam_McGonagle

    That’s capitalism for you. The cost/benefit ratio just doesn’t make a better society worthwhile.

    You really only need a negligible handful of people to decide which stories are ‘worth reporting’ and a suitable ‘narrative arc’. From there you will find literal armies of drudges to pad them out with dramatic but irrelevant detail.

    Most of them don’t even require a nominal salary. You can structure the grunt work as an ‘internship’ and really only need to have paid staff to edit their work to conform to stylistic conventions and make sure they tow the proper line.

    The only real imperative in this journalistic paradigm is that the narrative is consistent and doesn’t touch upon philosophical questions. In a Capitalist system, production staff have only to return a predictable product, marketing will do the rest by identifying the optimal presentation. Actual satisfaction is the consumer’s responsibility.

    If you have to explain a phenomenom as a flaw in the fundamental social order, it just shows that you’re not being tough or realistic enough to make it in a competitive world. Which is tantamount to voting yourself off the island.

    To me, there is a saving grace, though. This slovenly attitude towards truth always inevitably turns up in a plethora of contradictions and a steady stream of corrections/revisions, despite these companies’ best efforts to provide content-free material. That gives the consumer some dim access as to the probable underlying realities.

    I realize that puts a large burden on the public to read widely and carefully, but it beats having a well-funded centralized authority to thoroughly burnish out all the troublesome questions from a story before presenting it to the public. One like the British seem to be contemplating in the wake of the Rupert Murdoch phonetapping scandals.

    • Hadrian999

      Have you noticed the Koch brothers may be buying the Tribune company

  • Haystack

    Not surprising, coming from Yahoo. Over 90% of the “articles” on their site (including that one, most likely) are repackaged PR.

    If anything, now is a time of “constructive chaos,” when there are real opportunities to to distinguish yourself and benefit society by doing journalism in new and inventive ways.

    Suggesting PR as an alternative to journalism is a bit like presenting pole dancing as an alternative to ballet.

    • Hadrian999

      pole dancers at least provide a service to the people

      • Haystack

        Sorry, I guess I was being a little unfair to pole dancers.

  • VaudeVillain

    That’s pretty much what my girlfriend is doing, she works for a web developer writing blog posts about the work they’re doing in large part so that potential clients have an idea what they actually do. She finds it more rewarding than working as a cashier, and they get to have somebody on staff who can write eloquently and describe technical details in ways that make sense to people without degrees in computer science. It’s fairly benign, mundane, and no more dishonest than pretty much any other line of work.

    I guess what I’m saying here is: the Yahoo! article is stupid, but the job they recommend isn’t all that bad, and it’s not exactly fair to describe it as some terrible thing. Obviously it would suck if you were doing that for some company engaged in high-level bullshit and shenanigans (ie. Monsanto), but I can’t really think of any jobs one could do for such a company that wouldn’t feel shitty and degrading: I don’t have any objection to mopping floors or unclogging toilets, and I definitely don’t see either as a terribly pernicious occupation, but if the Koch brothers wanted me to do it for them I’d have serious reservations about it.

  • Herp Derp McGurt

    In slight defense of PR, there are plenty of nonprofits, charities, small businesses, universities, religious organizations, local government agencies, trade organizations, and even artists who work with and desperately need public relations people. It’s a job you can do freelance, and not a field where you necessarily have to work for evil corporations.

  • specialtasks

    Yahoo! . . . Serious?

    • Hadrian999

      why did you bring him into this?

  • DeepCough

    In the future, there will be no reporters, only tweeters.

  • alizardx

    Much of why print journalism as we know it is dying is that people are largely ceasing to believe it. It’s more and more being an open vehicle for corporatist propaganda.

    Will the Kochs finally bury it by buying into it?

    I think we’re going to see new ways to buy and sell the actual information content of “news”. But people who really want to report and sell facts are going to have to find people who want to buy them.

    • Hadrian999

      print journalism is stuck in a feedback loop. revenue goes down so they cutback on quality, revenue goes down…….Journalism is in a space between production models right now.

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