Presentation by UTEP Prof. Dino Chiecchi to NAHJ Board of Directors on national Latino journalists survey


UTEP professors Dino Chiecchi and Zita Arocha with UTEP students at NAHJ 2018 conference in Miami.

Dino Chiecchi’s remarks to the National Association of Hispanic Journalists during the NAHJ convention July 2018 regarding results of the national survey on job satisfaction among Latino journalists.

Among the most startling news gleamed from this survey is that nearly one quarter of the respondents – many of them NAHJ members – said they are considering leaving journalism within five years. And another 32 percent said they were not sure if they’d remain journalists.

Let that sink in – 54 percent of respondents are at the very least unsure if they will remain journalists or they will be gone in five years.

These numbers are staggering and should be a wake-up call for this board, and for recruiters and media leaders.

Labor statistics show 32,000 people are employed as journalists now – a drop from 41,000 in 2010 – and the Occupational Labor Handbook predicts a nearly 10 percent decline in those numbers in the coming years. Our survey shows that the decline could be higher among Latino journalists.

Our survey did not specifically ask why people are considering leaving the profession, but we can surmise a few steps to try to stem the exodus.

More than 10 percent of the respondents said they are not satisfied with the training opportunities in the newsroom. Respondents have an appetite for training. They recognize the path to job satisfaction and retention is through being thoroughly trained for all that lies ahead.

Some 25 percent of our respondents said they would like to attend training either at regional or national NAHJ meetings, or the meetings of other professional organizations. And another 40 percent said they’d like to receive training at a college or university near their homes.

Respondents said they have expressed an interest in moving into management. However, 15 percent of the respondents said they are dissatisfied with the responses from their managers when they expressed their desire to move into management.

Promotion opportunities are limited and more than 40 percent of the respondents said they were not satisfied with the opportunities available to them.

Clearly, the key to both job satisfaction and retention, is more training, both here and at colleges and universities for people already in business.

This convention’s focus is a fantastic step in the right direction. However, you must not let up.

These results show us that respondents are headed out the door and going into other professions if moves aren’t made quickly.

Thank you for your time.

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