By paulgillin | February 14, 2008 - 7:17 am - Posted in Journalism, Layoffs, NewMedia, Newspapers

Newspaper journalism in crisis: Burnout on the rise, eroding young journalists career commitment

Recent research by Scott Reinardy, Ph.D. of the Ball State University Department of Journalism examines journalist burnout in an exhaustive quantitative study. Quoting from the abstract:
The three-component Maslach Burnout Inventory-General Survey was implemented to examine burnout among newspaper journalists (N = 770). With a moderate rate of exhaustion, a high rate of cynicism and a moderate rate of professional efficacy, burnout among journalists demonstrate higher rates of burnout than previous work. Additionally, journalists expressing intentions to leave the profession (n = 173) demonstrated high rates of exhaustion and cynicism, and moderate rates of professional efficacy, making them “at-risk” for burnout. Also, 74.5 percent of journalists 34 and younger (n = 223) expressed intentions to either leave newspaper journalism or answered “don’t know.” The most “at-risk” to burnout appear to be young copy editors or page designers working at small newspapers.

AngryJournalist.com lets fed-up journalists vent their (anonymous) rage

[This new site lets anyone vent their anger about the journalism profession anonymously. The creator, Kiyoshi Martinez, says he launched it for several reasons. Quoting:]

“In private conversations with friends I sensed that there is a growing angst among the upcoming crop of journalists entering the field right now. Journalism-school graduates have the odds stacked against them. More than likely, their education was inadequate. It’s rare that new media skills were taught or were de-emphasized making the majority of them less competitive. The job market is terrible. More companies are having hiring freezes or worse, layoffs meaning fewer opportunities are available. It’s an instance where supply greatly outnumbers demand. And of what jobs are available, these entry-level jobs pay poorly. It’s even worse in broadcast media.”

The death of American newspaper – Watchdogs watching, Jan. 29, 2008

[An eager young journalist’s ideals come crashing to earth when he interviews for a newspaper job and finds that the pay won’t even cover the basic costs of living. That’s the way it is, the editor tells him. The owner wants to make a lot of money, and that means paying starvation wages to the staff. The aspiring reporter blogs about his experience, concluding, “Im witnessing the death of American newspaper.” – Ed.]

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