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Journalism as a viable career choice: What guidance counselors are telling students
Unformatted Document Text:  17Journalism as a viable career The first research question assessed guidance counselors’ knowledge about the current status and future of journalism. It is not surprising that majority of guidance counselors rated their knowledge as weak or unsure in the areas of online journalism, media convergence, journalist bloggers, and social media since these fields are so new. Journalist and scholars themselves are having a difficult time keeping up with the rapid changes in technology. Interestingly, 35% of guidance counselors rated their knowledge as strongest in social media and weakest in journalist bloggers. One possible reason for this is that educators are more likely to be hands-on with social media tools such as Facebook, and less likely to be following journalist bloggers. Despite their levels of knowledge in new media, however, this had no impact either way on their recommendation for students to pursue a journalism career. This may reflect a need for more education for counselors on exactly what is necessary in this “new” age of journalism. The second research question explored the extent that media coverage on the decline of traditional journalism, particularly newspapers, has on counselors’ recommendations of a journalism career. The majority of the guidance counselors said that the media portrayal of the future of newspapers is dismal, but they were optimistic as to how the media portray national and local television news. To this point, future research should examine exactly how these media are perceived differently to guidance counselors. Analysis of the third research question—guidance counselor recommendations for a journalism career today as opposed to one year and five years ago—yielded mixed results. First, when asked if they would recommend a journalism career to students

Authors: Rentner, Terry., Oyer, Seth. and Flynn, Mark.
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17
Journalism as a viable career
The first research question assessed guidance counselors’ knowledge about the 
current status and future of journalism.  It is not surprising that majority of guidance 
counselors rated their knowledge as weak or unsure in the areas of online journalism, 
media convergence, journalist bloggers, and social media since these fields are so new. 
Journalist and scholars themselves are having a difficult time keeping up with the rapid 
changes in technology. Interestingly, 35% of guidance counselors rated their knowledge 
as strongest in social media and weakest in journalist bloggers. One possible reason for 
this is that educators are more likely to be hands-on with social media tools such as 
Facebook, and less likely to be following journalist bloggers. Despite their levels of 
knowledge in new media, however, this had no impact either way on their 
recommendation for students to pursue a journalism career.  This may reflect a need for 
more education for counselors on exactly what is necessary in this “new” age of 
journalism.
The second research question explored the extent that media coverage on the 
decline of traditional journalism, particularly newspapers, has on counselors’ 
recommendations of a journalism career.  The majority of the guidance counselors said 
that the media portrayal of the future of newspapers is dismal, but they were optimistic as 
to how the media portray national and local television news.  To this point, future 
research should examine exactly how these media are perceived differently to guidance 
counselors.
Analysis of the third research question—guidance counselor recommendations for 
a journalism career today as opposed to one year and five years ago—yielded mixed 
results.  First, when asked if they would recommend a journalism career to students 


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