Mike Pearce, former editor of the Thanet Times, has made the claim in a new report published by the University of Oxford into the state of journalism in the UK.
The report also states journalism has now become a “fully academised” profession, with 98pc of those surveyed with three or fewer years of employment holding at least a bachelor’s degree.
A total of 64pc of those who entered the profession in the last five years had a degree in journalism or a related field, compared with 51pc of journalists in the previous five-year period.
However the report, based on a survey of 700 journalists carried out last December, found that only 41pc of all working journalists have degrees related to journalism.
Mike was among a number of current and former journalists spoken to by the report’s authors as part of the research, carried out by Dr Neil Thurman of Oxford’s Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism.
He said: “The arrival of so-called ‘citizen journalists’ means proprietors are near their holy grail of producing news without the expense of reporters.
“Training schools have closed, on-the-job training is minimal. Background stories are rarely tackled, courts go unreported, raw copy appears, unsubbed.”
The survey also found that 77pc of journalists feel their job is more influenced by profit-making pressures than five years ago, while 86pc feel the time made available to research stories has decreased.
Other key findings in the report include:
- Half of journalists described their political views as ‘left-wing’ – around the double the proportion in the population as a whole.
- 52pc of those surveyed now work online, more than double the number doing so in 2012.
- 45pc see it as “very” or “extremely” important to provide news that attracts the largest audience.
- 76% of journalists think religion has little or no influence on their work and 61% are not members of a formal faith, a lower percentage than in the general population.
- 83% of journalists in their mid- to late-20s earn less than £29,000 while about 20% of journalists have gross yearly earnings of less than £19,200.
The full report can be read here.