View all newsletters
Sign up for our free email newsletters

Fighting for quality news media in the digital age.

  1. Data
June 21, 2023

Census reveals total number of journalists and PRs: More than half female

There are almost 9,000 more PRs in England, Wales and Northern Ireland than there are journalists.

By Joshua Giddings and Charlotte Tobitt

Figures from the latest census have revealed the number of journalists, PRs and advertising industry professionals working in the UK.

There are more than 50,000 journalists working in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, according to the latest census data.

The 2021 census for England and Wales, run by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), found that there were 54,690 journalists across reporting and editing roles in written and broadcast media. It was the first time the census gathered such detailed employment data for individual professions.

The figure was made up of 30,060 “newspaper, periodical and broadcast editors”, according to the census release, alongside 24,630 “newspaper and periodical broadcast journalists and reporters”.

In Northern Ireland, there were an additional 674 journalists and reporters, and 324 editors. This takes the total across the three nations to 55,688.

Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
  • Business owner/co-owner
  • CEO
  • COO
  • CFO
  • CTO
  • Chairperson
  • Non-Exec Director
  • Other C-Suite
  • Managing Director
  • President/Partner
  • Senior Executive/SVP or Corporate VP or equivalent
  • Director or equivalent
  • Group or Senior Manager
  • Head of Department/Function
  • Manager
  • Non-manager
  • Retired
  • Other
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
Thank you

Thanks for subscribing.

Scotland's latest census data has not yet been published. Extrapolating the data out for the population of Scotland, and assuming there is a similar proportion of journalists (although London is likely to be much higher), there may be around 60,000 journalists across the whole UK.

Content from our partners
Pugpig named best media technology partner of 2024 by AOP
Cannes Lions: The world's best creativity all in one place
L'Equipe signs content syndication deal with The Content Exchange

By contrast, the Labour Force Survey, also run by the ONS, across the whole UK in 2019 reported 81,000 journalists working across newspapers, magazines, radio, television and online.

This was up from 60,000 journalists in 2014.

The Labour Force Survey has a smaller sample size of around 50,000 people but covers the whole UK. In contrast the census is sent to every household in England and Wales every ten years.

The England and Wales census also revealed age and gender demographics for journalists across the reporter and editor brackets.

The biggest proportion of people in "journalist and reporter" jobs were aged 25 to 29 - 15.4% of the total. This compares to 11.1% of the total working population in that age group.

Those in editor roles skewed slightly older. The biggest proportion (15%) of people were aged 30 to 34, compared to 12% of the population.

Just over half (53.5%) of journalists and reporters were women, with women making up slightly more of the total (55.8%) among editors.

How do the numbers of PR and advertising professionals compare to journalists?

The census also found that there were 63,560 PR professionals in England and Wales.

This is made up of 43,525 "public relations professionals", of whom 26.5% are aged 25 to 29 and 66.3% are women, as well as 20,035 "public relations and communications directors", who have a higher proportion of men (53.5%) and are older (17.5% aged 40 to 44, compared to 10.9% of the working population).

In Northern Ireland, where the age and gender figures were not released in the same way, there were 731 public relations professionals and 240 public relations and communications directors.

This means that there were 8,843 more PRs than journalists across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The number of people working in advertising and marketing eclipse the numbers in journalism and PR.

There are 145,810 "advertising and marketing associate professionals", according to the census, with 24.7% aged 25 to 29 and 62.5% women.

In addition 47,535 people described themselves as "advertising accounts managers and creative directors", with the largest age group again 25 to 29 (18.8% of the total) and an almost exactly even split between genders (50.6% women).

In Northern Ireland there were 2,175 marketing, sales and advertising directors and 475 advertising accounts managers and creative directors.

Correction: This article originally stated that there were 13,000 more PR professionals than journalists in England and Wales. In fact, there are 8,870 more PRs than journalists in England and Wales, and 8,843 more PRs across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Topics in this article :

Email pged@pressgazette.co.uk to point out mistakes, provide story tips or send in a letter for publication on our "Letters Page" blog

Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
  • Business owner/co-owner
  • CEO
  • COO
  • CFO
  • CTO
  • Chairperson
  • Non-Exec Director
  • Other C-Suite
  • Managing Director
  • President/Partner
  • Senior Executive/SVP or Corporate VP or equivalent
  • Director or equivalent
  • Group or Senior Manager
  • Head of Department/Function
  • Manager
  • Non-manager
  • Retired
  • Other
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
Thank you

Thanks for subscribing.

Websites in our network