What do journalists think of the future of journalistic work?

paperinsight ViewpointInterested to know what journalists think of their future? Robert G Picard of the Oxford University, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism has produced an interesting and insightful report on, ‘Journalists’ Perceptions on the Future of Journalistic Work‘.

Of those journalist which responded to the survey (509 journalists across the Western world), the conclusions were:

  • Journalism will be a harder job with less institutional support in the future.
  • Journalism will not be less satisfying or less independent.
  • There are concerns that journalists will have to work harder and have to think more about personal branding and entrepreneurship, and that they cannot count on stable employment, full-time jobs, or indeed life-long journalistic careers.
  • The respondents generally see journalism as a relatively stable collection of fundamental practices and techniques that is not dependent on medium or existentially threatened.

Picard points out that the results are striking for three reasons:

  • Journalists are clearly not in denial about the direct impact fundamental changes in the media will have for journalism as a form of work.
  • The respondents recognise that these changes are likely to make journalism more stressful, individualistic, and less stable, but they are not particularly pessimistic about the future of journalism as a professional practice.
  • The results are generally consistent across gender, age, and how long people have worked as journalists.

Picard concludes that many journalists are very clear eyed about how their profession is changing, and are not stuck in the past as some commentators assume.

He states that the challenge for news media, individual journalists, and journalistic professional associations, then, is to make sure that the often radical changes involved in journalism moving from 20th-century organisations to 21st-century ones are accompanied by the development of strong forms of 21st-century journalistic professionalism and the means to support them.

To view the detailed report, please click here.