Dissatisfaction in the newsroom

The Poynter Institute published a significant study this week that reveals high levels of dissatisfaction among journalists over their inability to balance work and life concerns. The report (written by old friend Jill Geisler) speaks of “long hours, pressure to do more, missed vacations, staff cutbacks, and as a result, a significant number of journalists who are considering leaving the field.”

The risk of losing journalists due to work-life balance issues is especially troubling because they also report a high level of satisfaction with the work of journalism. It is the working conditions that are at issue.

Key issues

  • Always work more than 40 hours a week: 65.1 percent of respondents
  • Did not take all the vacation they had coming in the past year: 46.2 percent
  • Organizations cut staff in the past two years: 67.2 percent
  • Staff shortages negatively affect their work-life balance “consistently” or “frequently”: 50.9 percent
  • Have seriously considered leaving journalism: 47.2 percent
Poynter also interviewed a handful of industry types for their reaction to the study, and the whole project is worth reading.

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