Journalists and Job Loss  book cover
1st Edition

Journalists and Job Loss

ISBN 9780367344047
Published November 30, 2021 by Routledge
230 Pages

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Book Description

Journalists and Job Loss explores the profound disruption of journalism work in the 21st century’s networked digital media environment.

The chapters analyse how journalists have experienced and navigated job loss, re-employment, career change and career re-invention as traditional patterns of newsroom employment give way to occupational change, income insecurity and precarious work in journalism globally. The authors showcase the design, methodology and results of the New Beats project, a ground-breaking longitudinal study of change in the work of Australian journalists, as well as related case studies of job loss and career change in journalism based on research in different national settings across the global North and global South. The book also considers the wider implications of changes in journalism work for media sustainability, gender equity, and journalism work futures.

The book provides a theoretically informed and empirically grounded analysis of job loss and the new contours of journalistic work in a critical political, cultural, economic, and social industry. It will be an important resource for researchers and students in disciplines including journalism, media and communication studies, business, and the social sciences in general.

Table of Contents

List of Contributors

Introduction: Understanding Job Loss Among Journalists

1. Understanding Job Loss Among Journalists
Timothy Marjoribanks, Lawrie Zion, Penny O’Donnell, Merryn Sherwood, Andrew Dodd and Matthew Ricketson

Part I. A New Field of Study: What Happens Next After Job Loss in Journalism

2. Australian Journalists: Adapting to Redundancy Over Time
Lawrie Zion

3. Passion and Precarity: Producing Public Interest Journalism After Job Loss
Andrew Dodd

4. Newly Branded: The Experiences of Post-Redundancy Journalists Who Go on to Work in Public Relations
Merryn Sherwood

5. Understanding Loss in Legacy Newsrooms
Matthew Ricketson and Monika Winarnita

6. Job Loss and Unionism in Australian Journalism
Penny O’Donnell

Part II. Towards World-Wide Understanding: Case Studies of the Aftermath of Job Loss in the Global North and South

7. Living on the Edge: U.S. Newspaper Journalism Following the Great Exodus
Scott Reinardy

8. Finland: Shock and Relief
Ari Heinonen, Kari Koljonen, Auli Harju

9. The Netherlands: Making it Work
Mark Deuze
10. Not ‘Just Another Job’: Journalism as Public Service
Andrea Hunter, Penny O’Donnell, and Nicole Cohen

11. Indonesian Women Journalists and Precarious Work
Samiaji Bintang, Monika Winarnita, Ignatius Haryanto, Hanif Suranto, and Albertus M Prestianta

12. Traumatic Transitions and Loss: How Journalists in South Africa Experience Job Loss
Glenda Daniels

13. Plan B: The Abandonment of Journalism in Portugal
José Nuno Matos

Part III. Beyond Newsrooms: Job Loss, Media Sustainability, and Work Futures

14. Down, But Not Out: Journalism Jobs and Media Sustainability in the UK
Francois Nel and Coral Milburn-Curtis

15. The Job is Only Part of the Story: Understanding Job Loss in Journalism Through Livelihood
Henrik Örnebring and Cecilia Möller

16. Freelance Journalists in Australia at a Time of Industry Contraction and COVID-19
Penny O’Donnell and Beate Josephi

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Timothy Marjoribanks is Professor of Management at Swinburne University of Technology, Australia

Lawrie Zion is Professor of Journalism at La Trobe University, Australia

Penny O’Donnell is Senior Lecturer in International Media and Journalism at The University of Sydney, Australia

Merryn Sherwood is Senior Lecturer in Journalism at La Trobe University, Australia


Journalism is unthinkable without journalists. But in the 2010s and early 2020s, the storytellers became the story as the digital revolution – and then the Covid pandemic – ravaged their industry. With perfect timing, this book helps us make sense of what those changes mean for democracy, communication and public life. It tells us about the personal impact of job loss and adaptation, puts the phenomenon of journalism job loss in an international perspective, and points the way to a better understanding of journalism in the present and the future.

Professor Sally Young, University of Melbourne, Australia

This vital book on the experience of job loss and its aftermath in journalism is among the first to explore comprehensively a phenomenon understudied by journalism scholars and feared by news workers whose livelihoods depend on news organisations’ paycheques. As the pandemic further diminishes employment and increases precarity in journalism, the insights this edited collection provides into these often-traumatic transformations and the subsequent struggles for new careers and professional re-orientation become even more urgent. Especially compelling are those chapters that show how job loss experiences of (ex)journalists intersect with or are shaped by gender, class, race, geographic location, news industry sustainability or options for collective organization.

Mirjam Gollmitzer, Université de Montréal, Canada

Journalism is undergoing massive transformations around the world, including unprecedented job losses and growing precarity. Yet, we know little about the experiences of those who have been forced to leave the industry after often long and successful careers. Journalists and Job Loss fills this important gap, giving us a detailed and comparative account of what losing their job has meant to these journalists. It is truly a landmark study that should be required reading for anyone trying to better understand current developments in journalism globally.

Folker Hanusch, University of Vienna, Austria

Traditionally the term ‘precarity’ refers to a state of persistent insecurity in respect of employment and income. Today the term also often registers the precariousness of life in our world of accelerating and mutually compounding ecological and economic crises. Journalists and Job Loss with its multi-faceted and in-depth focus on the structural and professional transformations of journalism in an era of digital and industrial change, serves to remind us of the consequences of increased journalist precarity on journalism and the reporting of our increasingly precarious world. Timely, necessary, insightful.

Simon Cottle, Professor of Media and Communication, Cardiff University, UK