Lack Of Training Is Journalists’ Top Complaint

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The No. 1 complaint of American journalists? Not enough on-the-job training.

That’s the word from a national survey released Tuesday afternoon in Washington by the Council of Presidents of National Journalism Organizations.

Conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates, the survey of 2,000 journalists and news executives from all news media found that a third of the journalists are dissatisfied with opportunities for training and professional development. Fewer of the journalists were unhappy with salary or promotion opportunities.

The news executives acknowledged that more training is needed, with nearly half saying they don’t get any training at all. Eighty percent of the news executives cited their budgets as the major obstacle to offering more training. Two thirds said there isn’t enough time to offer training.

“The good news is that midcareer journalism training does appear to be growing,” said Eric Newton, the director of journalism initiatives at the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, which funded the survey. “But the bad news is that it’s still fragile, like a sapling, really, when what journalists want is a real, full-grown tree.”

The study notes that non-media companies are spending more on training for their employees, even during touch economic times. “Though news organizations are in the knowledge business, the news industry lags behind others in providing its people with new knowledge and skills through professional training,” said the survey’s consulting editor Beverly Kees.

Complete survey results will be available at http://www.poynter.org.

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