No exact statistics on the size of journalistic community in Russia exists but experts estimate that there are more than 150,000 full-time journalists in Russia and that of these up to 90 percent have a background in academic education in various fields. Those who have specifically studied journalism constitute approximately two thirds of the journalistic labor force. Findings on demographic characteristics show that there is an increasing number of women working in journalism. Recent research suggests that “the profession is evidently becoming a female one” with a share of 70 percent women in the younger groups.
Journalists in Russia are also generally younger now: about 70 percent are under 35 years old, 23 percent are between 35 and 50, and only 7 percent are over 51 years old. Despite their young age, these “young professionals” are well educated – 95 percent of them have university or other higher education degrees.
Russian journalists are also being trained in several media companies providing short-term mid-career or refresher courses for staff and freelancers. Non-governmental and industrial organisations such as the Russian Union of Journalists, the Guild of Press Publishers, the National Association of Regional Press and the National Association of Broadcasters, also play an active role in upgrading professional education and improving the quality of journalism practices, including accountability topics, initiating competitions, round-tables and seminars.
An additional instrument of professional development is media research, which is provided by various university departments of journalism. Major parts of the accessible results can be found in scientific periodicals including Vestnik of MSU: Journalism Series, published by the Faculty of Journalism at Lomonosov Moscow State University. Other educational institutions also publish scientific journals on media and journalism studies.