By CLAYTON GUTZMORE
Hispanic journalists working at mainstream media organizations are increasingly concerned and pessimistic about their futures in the news industry, according to a new study released this week.
About 40.2 percent of about 4,000 journalists surveyed said they are worried about job security and 31 percent of those surveyed say they’re far less optimistic about their careers now than they were when they started, according to the State of Hispanic Journalists report. The report was unveiled by representatives from Florida International University and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists during a panel discussion held at Hispanicize 2015, an annual gathering of media professionals in Miami this week. The report itself was not made available.
Much of this concern and pessimism among Hispanic journalists stems from a lack of access to training in the programs and technology needed to keep up with changes in the industry, said Mekahlo Medina, NAHJ president.
“The industry has been disrupted by social media and the Internet. People who used to get their information from legacy type platforms like newspapers and TV now get it from smart phones and tablets,” Medina said. “A lot of people who have been in the industry for a long time are now having a hard time figuring out their future.”
Learning what kind of training is needed to help these journalists navigate the changing digital landscape was the purpose of the survey, Medina said.
Here are some other highlights from the survey:
- Nearly half of the respondents said they need training in website development, with blogging and social media management being the most requested form of instruction they’d like to receive
- Forty-two percent of journalists who took the survey said they already blog or have online businesses, while 50 percent reported they believed social media provides economically viable career opportunities. Many of the journalist indicated they wanted to launch their own digital content platforms
- Thirty-two percent reported they downsized or fired employees.
- Twenty-five percent believed their news organization was not ready to adapt technologically and grow.
Nearly 4,000 Hispanic journalists were surveyed for the report, but only 260 fully completed the questionaires, according to session moderator Dean Kazoleas, director of communications at California State University.