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World Press Freedom Day Data

TUESDAY, MAY 02, 2017


For World Press Freedom Day, takes a look at the state of the journalism profession in the U.S. The United Nations declared May 3rd as World Press Freedom Day back in 1993. The day celebrates press freedom, reflects on the global journalism landscape, defend media from attacks on their independence and pay tribute to journalists who lost their lives.

Using detailed occupation data from the American Community Survey (for 2011-15 and 2005-09), we'll focus on the "News Analyst, Reporters and Correspondents" category as an estimate of the number of journalism professionals in the U.S.

As the data show, both the number of journalists and pay for journalists have decreased.

Between 2009 and 2015, the number of journalism professionals decreased by 4.3 percent (from 58,840 to 56,303).

This ran counter to the general workforce trend--the number of civilian jobs increased by 6.8 percent overall. 

During this same period, the median income for journalists decreased by 5.6 percent--double the decrease in median earnings overall (down 2.3 percent).

As for how the profession compares to other lines of work, public relations specialists outnumber journalists nearly two to one (100,178 to 56,303).

For more on journalism and other professions, check out's maps and reports, as well as our Business Pattern data.

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