How does uncertainty affect journalists’ job expectations? Manuel Goyanes and Eduardo Francisco Rodríguez-Gómez, of Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, did observation at the workplace and interviews with 27 managers and journalists at El Mundo newspaper in Spain. The organization has faced fierce financial turmoil and several redundancy plans in the last years.
To manage with the harsh reality, journalists draw upon emotional and social resources, the study finds.
Emotionally, they limit and defuse concern for future prospects by focusing on the present. The authors call this presentism. Commitment to daily work helps the staff to attain a state of emotional balance; uncertainties, insecurities or depression are partially neutralized, the authors write.
Social support from colleagues is also important. Conversations with peers help journalists to better understand organizational changes and to learn from colleagues.
The uncertain expectations about the future make journalists naturalize their current professional conditions. They also took a relativistic orientation to the situation: feeling priviledged that they can work and get paid in a prestigious newspaper despite the crisis in the industry.
The article “Presentism in the newsroom” was published in Journalism and is available on the publisher’s website (free abstract) and on Academia.edu (free access).
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