For the first time, there are more women (53%) in UK journalism than men, according to UK Labour Force Survey data. Previously the industry was made up of 54% men in 2018 and 56% in 2016.
The UK overall workforce is 48% women, pressgazette.com reports. Proportion of non-white has changed very little and in journalism, the percentage of non-white is still lower than for the workforce in general.
However, changes reported are relatively small and within the margin of errors. Journalists are defined as those in the category: “journalists, newspaper and periodical editors” which would exclude digital publishing sector.
A report from the National Training of Journalists (NCTJ) shows the journalism industry is also getting younger: the proportion aged under 30 is up from 16% two years ago to 23%, while the proportion over 40 decreased from 64% to 48%. 67% of journalists are aged between 25 and 49 compared to 57% for the overall work force.
The number of working journalists in the UK has increased over the last three years to nearly 100 000, according to the Office of National Statistics Labour Force. But NCTJ says the proportion of non-white journalists has changed little in recent years, with non-white journalists comprising 8% of the total compared with 12% of the general UK workforce.
NCTJ said an increasing proportion of women in the industry and journalists becoming younger and having higher levels of qualifications all appear to be continuing trends.
It concluded: “The continuing increase in the ‘graduatisation’ of journalism could be acting against attempts to increase some aspects of diversity. Entrants to higher education are not themselves representative of the wider population.
“To the extent that journalism continues to increasingly recruit from a pool which is itself under-representative of BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) and lower social groups, it is likely that under-representation will continue”.
“There is still a greater proportion of white journalists (92%) than the workforce as a whole (88%). This is a decrease from 94% in 2018 but remains higher than the 90% figure from 2016.”
75% of journalists come from the highest social class based on the occupation of their parents, versus 45% of the general working population. 89% of journalists have a degree-level or higher qualification, compared to 48% of the overall UK workforce.
Joanne Butcher, chief executive of the NCTJ, told the web site: “The headline result for the NCTJ in this really useful report is that under-representation of diverse groups in journalism and reliance on graduates continues.
“We need to do more to encourage and support those diverse groups into journalism, promote alternative, non-graduate entry points, and encourage employers to recruit from this talent pool.”