Session 3
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Journalists' Working Lives in Flux: New Challenges, New Opportunities?

P35-PI649: Wednesday 13 June 15:00 – 17:00 AND Thursday 14 June 10:00 – 12.00.

Keywords: journalistic work, precarious labour, news organizations, spaces of work

The journalistic profession has undergone significant changes in the last two decades. Increased competition, technological developments and organizational changes have all been analysed as factors that have contributed to the changing conditions of journalistic work. In democratic countries all over the world professional journalists have faced redundancies, their labour has been casualized, they have suffered shortages of equipment and resources and often lost control over the spaces that they work in. At the same time journalism's role in these democracies (mainly as watchdogs and as providers of a voice to those who are under-represented) has been questioned by some (including very powerful politicians like Donald Trump but also journalists themselves who question whether they have become disconnected from "ordinary" people).

How do journalists negotiate these new conditions of work and the broader changes that their profession faces? What are the impacts of precarious labour, budget cuts and overall worsening material conditions of work on journalists' working lives and their well-being? How much control do journalists exercise over the material conditions and spaces of their work (considering in particular that autonomy forms a cornerstone of their professional identity in democratic societies)? What differences do we find in journalists' working conditions in different countries? How do the casualization of journalistic labour and increased competition contribute towards concerns about journalists' safety and security, for example, in relation to the increasing numbers of unaffiliated/freelancing journalists who cover news from war zones and places of armed conflict? How have news organizations labour-related practices developed as a response to the challenges that the journalistic profession faces? These are some of the questions that session participants may want to address, however, contributions to the session can also cover relevant issues that have not been mentioned here.

Organizers and contact persons:

Dr Monika Metykova

University of Sussex, UK


Dr Lenka Waschkova Cisarova

Masaryk University, Czech Republic