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Journalism as a viable career choice: What guidance counselors are telling students
Unformatted Document Text:  16 of students had a positive attitude toward a journalism career today and one year ago (M=3.11, SD=.994; M=3.19, SD-.854), whereas five years ago, they estimated that 53% were likely to have a positive attitude about a journalism career (M=3.71, SD=.929) Using the same scale, high school guidance counselors were asked to reflect on their likeliness in recommending a journalism career to high school students five years ago, one year ago, and today. Sixty-three percent of the counselors reported that they would have been more likely to recommend a journalism career to high school students five years ago (M=3.85, DS=.970) That figure dropped to 54% when asked how likely they would have been to recommend a journalism career one year ago (M=3.60, SD=.942) and only 42% of guidance counselors said that they would recommend a journalism career today (M=3.40, SD=.997). Discussion There is little debate among practitioners and scholars that the journalism industry is rapidly changing and moving toward a converged profession. While this may be exciting for technologically-savvy students entering journalism programs, those not familiar with media convergence may find it confusing. Complicating this lack of understanding is the impact of negative media coverage of the field itself. To better understand the state of journalism as a career today, high school guidance counselors were asked what they know about the field and how media coverage on a “dying profession” has influenced their recommendations to students for a journalism career. Given their potential influence in the decision-making process high school students engage in when considering a college major, guidance counselors may be positioned to impact the future of journalism.

Authors: Rentner, Terry., Oyer, Seth. and Flynn, Mark.
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of students had a positive attitude toward a journalism career today and one year ago 
(M=3.11, SD=.994; M=3.19, SD-.854), whereas five years ago, they estimated that 53% 
were likely to have a positive attitude about a journalism career (M=3.71, SD=.929) 
Using the same scale, high school guidance counselors were asked to reflect on 
their likeliness in recommending a journalism career to high school students five years 
ago, one year ago, and today.  Sixty-three percent of the counselors reported that they 
would have been more likely to recommend a journalism career to high school students 
five years ago (M=3.85, DS=.970) That figure dropped to 54% when asked how likely 
they would have been to recommend a journalism career one year ago (M=3.60, 
SD=.942) and only 42% of guidance counselors said that they would recommend a 
journalism career today (M=3.40, SD=.997). 
Discussion
There is little debate among practitioners and scholars that the journalism industry 
is rapidly changing and moving toward a converged profession.  While this may be 
exciting for technologically-savvy students entering journalism programs, those not 
familiar with media convergence may find it confusing.  Complicating this lack of 
understanding is the impact of negative media coverage of the field itself.  To better 
understand the state of journalism as a career today, high school guidance counselors 
were asked what they know about the field and how media coverage on a “dying 
profession” has influenced their recommendations to students for a journalism career. 
Given their potential influence in the decision-making process high school students 
engage in when considering a college major, guidance counselors may be positioned to 
impact the future of journalism.


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