The number of journalists in China has doubled compared with 20 years ago, according to official statistics.
Figures released by the General Administration of Press and Publication indicated that more than 700,000 people chose to pursue journalism as a career last year, 150,000 of whom have been issued with journalist certificates or official press cards.
According to the administration, Chinese journalists are entering the profession at a younger age, have a higher education, are from diverse ethnic groups and are divided equally along gender lines.
Twenty-nine percent of journalists are between 20 and 30 years old, 27 percent are in their 30s, 24 percent are in their 40s and only 20 percent are above 50.
By contrast, a sample survey conducted 10 years ago by the Research Center of Journalism and Social Development at Renmin University showed that the average age of Chinese journalists then was about 37, five years older than their American counterparts.
Sixty-four percent possess a bachelor's degree, 20 percent have a junior college degree, 13 percent have a master's degree and one percent have doctorates, according to Xinhua News Agency.
College majors include subjects such as art, science, engineering, medical science and foreign languages.
(China Daily March 27, 2006)