Journalists at Work 2018

We commissioned this research to provide new and consistent information across a range of industry sectors on the journalism professions. It is both an update of the organisation’s 2012 Journalists at Work publication, and an exploration of issues that have emerged since.

This research project shows growing confidence within journalism.

The latest Journalists at Work report reveals that the number of journalists working in the UK has risen substantially from 65,000 in 2012 up to 73,000 in 2018, contrary to the perception that journalism is an occupation in decline.

The report suggests that while fewer journalists are working in traditional sectors such as newspapers and magazines, journalism has become much more varied, with more journalists turning to broadcasting and digital platforms.

Despite the changing nature of journalism, the number of journalists holding a journalism qualification has also increased, proving that journalism qualifications are more valued than ever.

The report also highlights the lack of diversity in the industry, revealing that 90 per cent of journalists are white, despite the concentration of journalism in ethnically diverse areas such as London and metropolitan areas in the UK.

It also remains a concern that social class affects the likelihood of entering the profession, with 72 per cent of journalists coming from a background where their parents worked in a higher-level occupation, compared with 41 per cent of the overall workforce.

Although journalists are now more positive about journalism being an open and receptive profession, diversity remains a big issue.

We are therefore increasing our commitment and allocating more resources to tackling the problem.

We’re working with leading employers to forge a new strategy for equality, diversity and inclusion which also features ambitions to scale up the Journalism Diversity Fund and to attract and train more journalists in our local communities.

– Joanne Butcher, chief executive, NCTJ

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Diversity in Journalism 2021

This research report updates the analysis of journalists’ diversity characteristics from 2018 to 2021. It is based on 2020 Labour Force Survey (LFS) data. It can be read in conjunction with the NCTJ’s Diversity in Journalism report, published in November 2017, and Journalists at Work, published in October 2018.


It is so important that journalists reflect the communities they serve, and we are committed to leading radical change in the industry to improve the diversity of newsrooms.

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