Research: UK Journalism Has Cut A Third Of Its Jobs In Last Decade

The number of mainstream UK journalism jobs has shrunk by between 27 and 33 percent over the last decade to around 40,000, says University of Central Lancashire journalism researcher François Nel.

Nel makes the calculation based on a review of previous figures, which he acknowledges may be problematic. He blogged the figure here, and in a report, Laid Off, published with

After surveying trade news sites, he found 9,500 journalism job losses were reported between January 2007 and June 2009 alone.

Conversely, the number of journalism university graduates has never been higher – 7,590 in 2008/09; that’s 0.60 percent of all UK graduates.

Nel: “The reality is that only a fraction of the many thousands of graduates from UK journalism courses will find a place in the mainstream industry.”

Out of 79 recently-laid-off journalists who presented for his research survey, only 14 said they had found similar journalism work elsewhere.

The bloodletting may not be over, and – indeed – is still ongoing at major publishers like Mirror Group. News organisations have not only had to wrestle the advertising downturn, but also ongoing structural change…

Nel points out that publishers surveyed for the 2010 World Newspaper Future & Change Study said “saving money on staff is amongst the top tactics publishers plan to use to cut costs in the next 12 months”.