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How to fight burnout in journalism

Burnout in journalism is widespread, a US study by Reynolds Journalism Institute says. “The current and former journalism professionals who responded to this survey have pessimistic views about the industry. Across all major regions of the country, at least 44% hold pessimistic sentiments about journalism.” 

“Despite these feelings, journalism professionals remain enthusiastic about the value and purpose of journalism, with 99% agreeing that journalism is essential to a functioning democracy”, the institute reports. 

Discussing actions to prevent burnout, respondents showed high interest in: 

  • Four-day work weeks
  • Hybrid shifts
  • More remote work o Input on how work is done and jobs are performed
  • Acknowledgement of the valuable work being done (#1 among former journalism professionals)
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Covering news is increasingly difficult, with 36% of all journalism professionals agreeing that covering it is much more challenging today than it was historically, the survey shows. 

Today’s newsrooms are being negatively impacted by:

  • Having to do more with less
  • Budget cuts o Increasing distrust from consumers
  • Experienced professionals leaving the industry
  • Social media

“Shifting trust in journalism is impacting professionals and may be negatively influencing their psyches and possibly contributing to the risk of burnout”, the institute says in a report. 

Over 1000 future, current, and former journalists from 50 states took part in the study. 56% of them are women.

“Burnout’s reach and impact within journalism are evident. While addressing it within the newsroom is a definitive need, adding it to future journalists’ curriculum is beneficial”, the institute concludes.

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