5 Industry Developments Every Student Should Know About
If there’s one field of study where the thought of future prospects makes students nervous, it’s media studies. From journalism to advertising and filmmaking, digital disruption leaves no one immune to its far-reaching impact.
Is it time to change major? What type of internship to apply for? Which organization will best suit your values and interests? Where should you work after graduation? These are important questions that students should ask themselves. The answers may lie somewhere in the major industry developments happening around the world:
1. More people are accessing news through private messaging channels
According to the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford University, there is a change towards private spaces for the consumption and discussion of information. Brazil and Malaysia recorded the two highest rates of news access on WhatsApp, with 53% and 50% of respondents, respectively, saying they used the app to find, read, watch, share or discuss the news.
Using Facebook Messenger and Viber for news is more popular in European countries, especially Greece, Poland and Belgium.
This change would not be good news for budding journalists, just like social media, they are not easy sites to monetize to compensate for human labor.
2. Media Studies + MBA = $$$
If you are looking for the best price, getting an MBA may be the way to go. According to Poets and quants. The lowest base salary started at US$41,875 while the highest range started at US$240,000, both reported by Harvard MBA graduates.
— Poets&Quants (@PoetsAndQuants) August 2, 2019
These figures are almost two to three times what marketing majors with bachelor’s degrees earned – US$53,400, as reported in a 2012 report. survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers.
3. Bots take over and they start with financial and sports news
In what feels like a journalism student’s worst nightmare come true, robotic journalism is now a reality. Also known as automated journalism, this is what the future of Industry 4.0 could look like for media studies graduates.
Its use is likely to be for financial-focused reporting, as this data is calculated and published frequently. Business news portal Bloomberg is an early adopter of the new technology with a program called Cyborg, which last year turned financial reports into news stories, just like a real-life business reporter would. Another AI, called Bertie, was used to help journalists write their first drafts and story templates.
AT Washington Post, its in-house artificial intelligence technology, Heliograph, has produced hundreds of short stories on the Rio Olympics, Congressional and gubernatorial races on Election Day, and the DC area high school football games.
4. Freedom of expression under attack
In Southeast Asia, governments are increasingly enacting new laws to stem the spread of disinformation and misinformation online. While the official line is that these would target fake news, many critics fear they are being used to suppress free speech by its critics.
Singapore’s Protection Against Online Lies and Manipulation Act (POFMA) was enacted on June 25, 2019. Malaysia’s new government is upholding its controversial 2018 policy anti-fake news law. In Thailand, the Computer Crimes Act 2016 allows the government to crack down on anyone who spreads information it deems “false”.
Meanwhile, the Philippine version of the False News Bill now incorporates an updated version of the Penal Code, where it is now “unlawful for anyone to offer, publish, distribute, circulate or disseminate fake news and information in a malicious way”.
Media Studies graduates planning to work in this part of the world, get ready…
5. Need for more media studies talent in Europe
A study of journalists in Germany, Sweden and the UK found that the biggest problem facing newsrooms here is talent. There is a shortage, particularly in regional and local newspapers outside major cities, and a more widespread challenge in Germany and Sweden than in the UK.
“When asked about the traits, skills and competencies that new managers and school leaders
expect candidates, they mainly mention character traits (curiosity, tenacity, etc.),
with only a few mentioning specific skills.
Journalists from rural backgrounds also proved rare, thanks to the decline of local journalism. The traditional career path of moving from a local/regional newspaper to a national newspaper is no longer valid. This decline in rural prospects poses a diversity problem in all three countries.
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