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TV journalists depart industry in Q1

Given the unpredictability of the media industry, it isn’t surprising that its journalists seem constantly on the move. The industry is in a constant state of ebb and flow as media professionals join new outlets, get promoted, or get laid off. And then there are plenty of journalists who decide to leave the field altogether. inVocus took a look at the television industry in the first quarter of 2012 and found that 166 television contacts had left the industry. Roughly 100 of those contacts gave reasons as to why they left, pointing to some interesting trends. 

According to research performed by the Vocus Media Research Group, the bulk of people who left the industry in the first quarter retired. “This might explain why we see so many young faces when we turn on the evening news these days,” said Julie Holley, managing editor of television content at Vocus Media Research Group. “With that said though, there are still plenty of veteran anchors and reporters out there.” 

It’s no revelation that when journalists leave the field to join another industry many often turn to public relations. But Holley noted that the number of journalists who left for PR was almost even with the number who took a job with local, state or the federal government, including those who left to work on political campaigns. Of those working in local government, eight were working in an educational setting, such as a board of education. Of those who left for personal reasons, most were retiring, while some left to get married, have children, or pursue more education. 

Whatever the reason, it still seems like a lot of journalists leaving the television industry in just one quarter. But it’s not shocking to Holley. TV news is a stressful place to be, noted Holley. “It requires a certain way of life and a certain schedule – odd shifts, working on holidays, being called in to fill-in for others, staying late during breaking news,” she said.  “People work very hard to achieve certain goals in their TV news career and then when they get there, they often get bored or fed-up and decide to do something else. Many choose careers with a connection to journalism such as PR or even politics, especially if they covered campaigns. Others realize that they are passionate about other professions or ways of life such as those who left to work at nonprofits, started their own companies or left to have children.” 

–Katrina M. Mendolera

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