Preliminary Report: Media Worker Survey Summary

More than 700 current and former Bay Area journalists participated in the San Francisco Bay Area Journalist Census media worker survey, which aims to assess the employment experiences of journalists working in the region and the opportunities available to them within the changing field of journalism and beyond.

Download a 20 MB pdf of the preliminary summary of the Media Worker Survey by clicking here. You will be directed to the Megaupload website. Click “regular download” for a free download.

Here are a few highlights from the preliminary survey summary:

  • Only 3 percent of respondents categorized themselves as currently unemployed. Two percent were retired, and 15 percent described themselves as workers or students in fields other than journalism. More than 70 percent were working as journalists or journalism entrepreneurs.
  • Nearly 45 percent of respondents said that between Jan. 1, 2000 and Dec. 31, 2010 they had experienced at least one layoff or buyout, accepted an early retirement offer or otherwise voluntarily left a journalism job during a period of downsizing.
  • More than two fifths of respondents said they were employed as much as they wanted between Jan. 1, 2000 and Dec. 31, 2010. About one quarter of respondents reported experiencing less than one year of unemployment or underemployment; less than 5 percent of survey takers said they were unemployed or underemployed for more than five years during the same period.
  • The vast majority of respondents who were currently employed reported “effective written communication” (85 percent) as a skill that helped them get or keep their current job. More than two thirds of respondents said they believe they need to acquire or develop multimedia skills to improve their employment prospects.