This edited collection brings together leading scholars from around the world to discuss the consequences and implications of precarious labor conditions within the modern news industry.
In 14 original chapters, contributors address global concerns in journalism across all platforms, based on the assumption that unstable employment conditions affect the extent to which journalists can continue to play their historically crucial role in sustaining democracies. Topics discussed include work conditions for freelancers and entrepreneurial journalists as well as the risks facing conflict reporters, precarity in media start-ups, unionization and other collective efforts, policies regulating journalistic labor around the world, and the impact of hedge fund money on newswork. Drawing on case studies and data from South America, Africa, the United States, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and continental Europe, the book highlights how media outlets are forcing newsworkers to work harder for less money, and few countries are proactive in alleviating the precarity of journalists.
Newswork and Precarity is a valuable addition to an important still-emerging area in journalism studies that will be of interest to both professionals and scholars of journalism, media studies, sociology, and labor history.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Global Precarity’s Uneven Impacts on Journalism: Linda Steiner and Kalyani Chadha
Part I: THEORETICAL, HISTORICAL and ECONOMIC CONTEXT:
- Kalyani Chadha and Linda Steiner: Precarity: The Concept, Evolution, Forms and Applications
- John Nerone: The Labor History of Newswork from Industrialization to the Digital Age
- Krishnan Vasudevan: Dead on Arrival: Deadspin’s Fight with its Private Equity Owner and The Rise of Defector
- Carey L. Higgins-Dobney: Producing in precarity: A Focus on Freelancing in U.S. Local Television Newsrooms
- Lindsay Palmer: The Precarious Labor of Freelance War Correspondents
- Cherian George: "All the news that’s fit to print. Except for cartoons. Those things are scary"
- Karin Wahl-Jorgensen: Precarity in Community Journalism Start-Ups: The Deep Story of Sacrifice
- Sofie Willemsen and Tamara Witschge: "Becoming Real": Professional Precarity in Entrepreneurial Journalism
- Adriana Amado, Mireya Márquez-Ramírez and Silvio Waisbord: Labor Precarity and Gig Journalism in Latin America
- Harry Dugmore: Endogenous "Precarious Professionalism" in African Newswork
- Mirjam Gollmitzer: Alleviating or Exacerbating Precarity? How Freelancers in Germany and Canada Experience Policies Regulating Insecure Journalistic labor
Part II: APPLICATIONS TO JOURNALISM SPECIALIZATIONS AND INNOVATIONS.
Part III: Regional and National Particularities
PART IV: RESISTANCE AND PRODUCTIVITY
- Erwin van ‘t Hof and Mark Deuze: Making Precarity Productive
- Nicole S. Cohen and Greig de Peuter: Collectively Confronting Journalists’ Precarity through Unionization
- Verica Rupar: The Responsibilities of Journalism Educators
"Journalism may feel solid now, as we are awash in news, but Newswork and Precarity shows just how fragile the news industry really is. By taking up the complexities of precarity across both different segments of journalism and geographical locations, the authors in this comprehensive collection showcase the variety of often hidden barriers that impede the work of reporting the news. Theoretically and empirically rich, this is an invaluable resource for making sense of the challenges journalists face in the course of doing their jobs and for plotting a better future for news." - Matt Carlson, University of Minnesota, author of Journalistic Authority: Legitimating News in the Digital Era, and co-author of News After Trump: Journalism’s Crisis of Relevance in a Changed Media Culture.
"Journalism today is in a state of crisis unprecedented in its history, and a global crisis at that. It is a core component of the crisis of democracy now engulfing the world. Newswork and Precarity is an essential contribution, leading scholars toward understanding the crisis, how we got here and what it means." - Robert W. McChesney, Professor Emeritus, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
"Kalyani Chada’s and Linda Steiner’s edited collection adds a much-needed global perspective to the emerging scholarly debate on the increased precarity of journalistic work. Authors (drawn from all over the world) analyze precarity by putting the phenomenon within wider contexts of historical change; the rise of new funding models; increased harassment of and risk to journalists; and social and global inequalities more generally. These contextualizations develop the discussion of precarity in new and innovative ways, and urgently links precarity in journalism to the increased precarity of democracy. Highly recommended." – Henrik Örnebring, Professor of Media and Communication, Karlstad University.