Worries aside, poll finds most journalists would do it again

Washington County Sheriff Doug Mullendore prepares to speak at a news conference about a recent shooting in Smithsburg, Md. More than three-quarters (77%) of the U.S. journalists surveyed by the Pew Research Center said that if they had the chance to do it all again, they would still pursue a career in the news business.

NEW YORK (AP) — Journalists face harassment, fight against misinformation and are keenly aware of the industry’s financial troubles and the dim view many Americans have of them. Despite all that, most love their jobs and wouldn’t trade them for something else.

Those were among the findings in a survey of nearly 12,000 U.S. journalists conducted by the Pew Research Center and released Tuesday.

“To me, that’s a fascinating juxtaposition,” said Amy Mitchell, director of journalism research at Pew. “They get it. They feel the struggle. They understand the public’s feelings toward them. But they love it. They’re proud of their work.”

More than three-quarters of the journalists, or 77%, said that if they had the chance to do it again, they would still pursue a career in the news business. Three-quarters of journalists over age 65 say the job has a positive impact on their emotional well-being, although the numbers are smaller for those who are younger.

When asked to describe their industry in a single word, 72% of the journalists surveyed picked something negative — words like “struggling,” “chaos,” “partisan,” “difficult” and “stressful,” Pew said.

And when asked for one word that journalists think the general public would use to describe the news industry, only 3% chose words that could be characterized as positive. Words such as “inaccurate,” “untrustworthy,” “biased” and “partisan” were used most often.

Years of attacks from former President Donald Trump and his allies have taken a toll. Coupled with a companion poll of American adults in general, journalists have a more positive view of the job they do than the general public. For instance, 67% of journalists believe they’re doing a very or somewhat good job of covering the most important stories, compared to 41% of the public who said the same. Most journalists, or 65%, said news organizations do a good job of reporting accurately, while only 35% of the public said so.

Pew found that 42% of the journalists said they had been harassed or threatened in the past year, mostly online. For all the negativity, 70% of journalists were very or somewhat satisfied with their jobs.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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(1) comment

Judd Grossman

Mostly leftist activists. Objectivity in short supply.

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