futurejournalismproject:

Spin versus Chagrin: PR Pros Outnumber Journalists Three to One

Via Search Engine People:

From 1997 to 2007 there has been a 30% job growth in independent Public Relations. This excludes in-house PR or PR departments in advertising or SEO agencies.

Meanwhile newspaper newsrooms are 30% smaller than they were in 2000, according to Pew Research.

The above got me thinking about the number lobbyists there are in the US. The numbers are difficult since who’s a lobbyist is a rather gray area in American politics. But with a little help from the Google there were 69,300 journalists as of 2008, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

As of June 2009 there were 12,553 registered lobbyists in Washington, DC, according to Reuters.

That’s lobbyists in Washington. It doesn’t include state lobbyists, nor does it include that gray area that defines who a lobbyist actually is. Speaking to Reuters at the time, James Thurber, head of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at American University in Washington, estimated that the number of lobbyists in the US is actually much greater:

The Lobbying Disclosure Act does not capture massive marketing efforts undertaken by special interest groups and corporations, grassroots initiatives, survey research or even the publication of magazines by groups such as the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).

“It’s a much bigger industry than the federal registry of lobbyists shows,” said Thurber, who estimates that a much better count of the people engaged in lobbying in Washington would be around 90,000 — not including support staff. 

So we have that to think about this Wednesday morning.

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