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Survey Finds Disinterest Among Journalists

A survey conducted by a leading web-based employment agency was publicized yesterday, the eve of the annual Journalists' Day, and found that over half of people employed in the media weren't interested in their jobs and a large majority had considered changing profession.

The poll, by zhaopin.com, questioned 500 people working in the media industry, two-thirds of whom were journalists.

Fifty-three percent of respondents said they did not find their jobs interesting and 78 percent said they had thought about switching careers.

More than 60 percent had a monthly salary of less than 3,000 yuan (US$370).

Twenty percent earned 3,000-5,000 yuan (US$370-US$616), only 6.5 percent 5,000-8,000 yuan (US$616-US$986) and none were paid more than that.

The survey said reporters covering specific areas such as IT, real estate and automobiles had better salaries.

Forty percent of the people surveyed agreed with the assertion that journalists working for larger organizations fared better than those employed in smaller ones.

Only 8.6 percent said reporters were top talents in the job market.

The media industry is estimated to have around 750,000 people working in it.

Some academics disagreed with the survey's findings.

"Compared with national average incomes, reporters in China have higher earnings than those in Western countries," said Li Kun, associate professor at Peking University's School of Journalism and Communication.

The survey found the industry is getting younger professionals, with 25 the average age of reporters.

"Young reporters are certainly more energetic and passionate," said Xu Qinyuan, a professor at Communication University of China. "Instead of staying in the office as desk-bound reporters, they are willing to rush to the scene."

More than 40 percent of people surveyed thought reporters have a more flexible schedule and get to know more people.

(China Daily November 8, 2005)

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