The global journalist in the twenty-first century: A cross-national study of journalistic competencies

Lars Willnat, David H. Weaver, Jihyang Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations


This study presents selected findings related to journalistic competencies or skills from surveys of more than 29,000 journalists working in 31 countries or territories, conducted between 1996 and 2011. The data come from survey studies included in Weaver and Willnat’s 2012 book, The Global Journalist in the 21st Century. The study focuses on aspects such as journalists’ age and education, working conditions, professional values or orientations, opinions about the importance of different aspects of the job, and attitudes toward new reporting skills that are necessary to cope with a multimedia news environment. The study concludes that there are no clear patterns of such competency among the journalists included in this analysis. However, tendencies were observed for some countries to have younger, less experienced, less formally educated journalists who do not highly value the interpretive or analytical role of journalism, who are less satisfied with their work, who have less freedom in their work, and who lack the multimedia skills necessary in the age of online journalism. The study also calls for systematic content analysis studies that investigate whether self-reported competencies of journalists in each nation actually correlate with the quality of the news products they create.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-183
Number of pages21
JournalJournalism Practice
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Comparative survey research
  • Global journalist
  • Journalism competency
  • Journalistic roles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication


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