Laid off – my point of view

You just know you love your job, when you are stone-coldly fired by your employer and you are still stubbornly looking to work in the same field afterwards – maybe even for the same position, is what laid off research report points out.

Hope really does die last is what I realised once again, particularly when it comes to journalists.

I really do not know however where all this love and enthusiasm sources from.  Is it because this job is more like a hobby you get paid for?  (A hobby that comes with certain conditions of course like deadlines and regulations).  Is it because this profession pays your self-development and in improving your knowledge capabilities?

This study’s principal author François Nel of the University of Central Lancashire estimates that the UK‟s mainstream journalism corps has shrunk between a quarter and a third over the past decade (and 30% to 40% on the 2001 estimates widely used by the industry).

144 laid off took part in the survey that was conducted in collaboration with journalism.co.uk

Here is what Francois Nel, author of the report and director of the journalism leaders’ programme at UCLan commented about the study:

“While the findings cannot be generalised, we believe they should not be ignored. These voices can help inform media managers, union officials, policy makers, training bodies, educators, would-be journalists, those still working and, perhaps most importantly, the thousands of other journalists who have left – or have been forced out – of the profession,” says Francois Nel, author of the report and director of the journalism leaders’ programme at UCLan.”

It is true that a survey  of 144 people cannot speak for all the rest of the other journalist who are working out there, however, out there in the world there has been a general decline in the journalism industry as a whole therefore proving that the problem does not affect only the 144 who have been laid off but it also the journalists who are still working (budget wise) or will affect them in the future – whether it means salary cuts, or job cuts.

Here are the key findings according to journalism.co.uk:

  • Most respondents came from the local and regional press: 50 per cent were working on regional daily papers and 28 per cent on regional weeklies. More than half of those who lost their jobs on regional dailies were reporters (31 per cent);
  • 64 per cent were made redundant in 2009;
  • 23 per cent of respondents had a postgraduate degree and 55 per cent an undergraduate degree;
  • 41 per cent of respondents have been journalists for 10 years or fewer;
  • respondents felt a strong link with journalism with the majority saying it defined them, was a calling or was more than a job.

Some key quotes from respondents:

  • “I have been left feeling hurt by the whole experience, not because I lost my job, but knowing that people with a passion for making a difference are not being treated seriously because management just want to replace these people with press releases;”
  • “Other professions can gain a lot by hiring journalists because of their work ethic and integrity, and employers seem to be responding positively,”
  • “[J]ournalists of the future will lack the knowledge and drive to challenge abuses of power.”

– Even though the study does not research the root cause of the loss of journalism jobs, it is evident that there are many factors that do affect the journalism industry.

The particular report strives into empowering journalists and underlines the fact that there is life after being laid off.

The sole, more optimistic point, that I concluded in is that:  if there is less demand in journalists therefor there is more competition thus resulting in better qualified journalists , which in conclusion leads to better quality journalism overall.

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