Now’s a great time to be in journalism if you’re 24

Young journalists just out of school are in demand a lot more than previous year’s graduates, said Rem Rieder, who recently spoke at a Canadian Journalism Association event on the future of journalism. He repeated his sermon a second time for a class of Ryerson University journalism students, most of whom were mere months from graduating.

Rieder, editor of the American Journalism Review, stated emphatically that, “It’s a great time to be in journalism if you’re 24 or 64.” The older crowd is nearing retirement and taking buyouts, which leaves a number of openings for young reporters.

But it’s not just the climate of the industry that offers advantages to recent and soon-to-be journalism grads, said Rieder.

“There remains an emphasis on new technology…Young journalists are a lot more likely to be digital natives. They’re as comfortable online as anywhere else.” What newspapers really need is versatile journalists: to be able to write the story, shoot the video, take the photo and compile it all together in an attractive package. “In some ways,” he said, “Journalism has always been a young person’s game.”

Rieder stressed that flexibility and and openness to new opportunities are the keys to success. “It’s a great time to start your own company or follow your own company or just be open in your job hunting.”

 “In many ways,” Rieder said, “Journalism today is so much better than when I started in the business.”