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UK journalism jobs decline steeply over last decade

Research states that only a fraction of journalism graduates will get a job in the mainstream indust

The number of mainstream UK journalism jobs has declined between 27 and 33 per cent to around 40,000 over the last decade, according to research by François Nel of the University of Central Lancashire.

Nel published his results in a report titled "Laid Off", in collaboration with media website Journalism.co.uk.

He surveyed trade news sites and found that 9,500 journalism job losses were reported between January 2007 and June 2009. Considering the number of journalism university graduates coming out every year, he concluded that only a fraction of them would get a job in the mainstream industry. Nearly 7,590 journalism graduates passed out in 2008-09.

About 144 journalists who lost their jobs recently have responded to Nel's online questionnaire about their experiences outside mainstream media. Only a fraction of them said they have been doing similar journalism work elsewhere.

In the wake of job cuts continuing in newspaper houses such as the Mirror Group, Nel points out that news organisations must also combat the structural changes arising with so many journalists leaving, along with decline in advertising.

Yet, he adds, news companies are considering axing jobs as a major cost-cutting tool.