A journalist sits at her desk suffering from job burnout

Survey seeking solutions to burnout in journalism enters the homestretch

The Reynolds Journalism Institute’s (RJI) survey on burnout in the news industry, conducted in partnership with research firm SmithGeiger, has received more than 1,000 responses as it heads into the final weeks of the collection phase. Anyone interested in completing the survey has until Sunday, November 26 to participate.

Randy Picht, the executive director of RJI, said the high turnout will mean more rigorous findings and overall optimal data to analyze.

“We’ve been hearing from folks about the burnout problem for a while and now, because of the survey, I’m hearing from more folks about potential solutions to the problem and that’s been very gratifying,” said Picht, noting that prior research suggests burnout has affected up to 70% of journalists.

Picht added that while women and those who have been on the job for a short time appear to be at greater risk of burnout, the issue reaches across generations and specializations. From local news to journalists worldwide, from television and radio to student journalists preparing to enter the workforce, burnout is a topic of concern, and the survey has sought to collect responses from a diverse array of people with various levels of experience.

The 15-minute survey launched in October and is completely anonymous. It aims to take a solutions-oriented approach based on firsthand feedback from journalists about factors such as the resources available to them in the workplace, the impacts of public hostility and social media harassment, and other considerations.

“SmithGeiger is proud to partner with RJI to explore the practical solutions that leaders in newsrooms big and small, digital or print, tv or radio could try to prevent burnout and help those who have had burnout recover,” said Andrew Finlayson, executive vice president for digital media strategies at SmithGeiger.

Detailed results from the survey will be available in January. To be notified when the reports are available, sign up for RJI’s free newsletter here. For more information about the survey, contact Randy Picht at pichtr@rjionline.org.


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