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Nick R. Martin

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Desperate to change, newsrooms overwork their journalists
By Nick R. Martin | December 11, 2007

As traditional newsrooms become multimedia ones, journalists are working longer hours and enduring more stress than before. At least that's what a recent report by the UK's National Union of Journalists says. "Our evidence shows members are clearly greatly concerned about the effects of often ill-conceived multimedia plans on their working lives, on their health and safety and on the quality of the work they produce," according to the study, which was released last week.

Three quarters of the journalists who were surveyed said the race for newspapers and TV stations to catch up with the new media age was having some sort of adverse effect on their lives. The report put the blame squarely on bosses and executives who were caught off guard when their profits started to slide. "The real threat to quality comes not from technology, not from new media, not even from the 'citizen journalism'," the report states, "but from those who treat information and news as nothing more than a commodity, and journalists as the servants of corporate interests, not the public." It's a strongly-worded report from an organization that has a lot to gain from bashing management, but there appears to be some legitimate complaints throughout it.


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