Workplace well-being and support systems in journalism: comparative analysis of Germany and the United Kingdom

Article


Simunjak, M. and Menke, M. 2022. Workplace well-being and support systems in journalism: comparative analysis of Germany and the United Kingdom. Journalism. 24 (11), pp. 2474-2492. https://doi.org/10.1177/14648849221115205
TypeArticle
TitleWorkplace well-being and support systems in journalism: comparative analysis of Germany and the United Kingdom
AuthorsSimunjak, M. and Menke, M.
Abstract

Contemporary thinking of journalism as a high emotional labour profession calls into question the systems that are, or should be, in place to support journalists with this labour and in this way mitigate any of its potentially negative consequences, such as those on well-being, mental and physical health, and job performance. By drawing on organisational and social support theories, this article examines the perceptions, expectations, and support needs of journalists in Germany and the United Kingdom, the two European countries with the biggest bodies of practising journalists. Qualitative interviews with 32 German and 34 British journalists reveal important similarities but also differences between the two countries. Specifically, in both countries journalists reported primarily relying on their psychological capital to deal with emotional labour, although many were unsure what exactly constitutes it or how it has been developed. In Germany the social and supervisor support were often mentioned as effective, while in the UK social support was at times found to be hindered by newsroom culture and supervisors’ lack of understanding of the job pressures. Finally, it has been suggested by journalists in both countries that organisational support could be improved by an offer of training in emotional literacy for both journalists and managers, establishment of a point of contact tasked with pastoral care, and fair, transparent and formal structures that encourage and enable journalists to effectively deal with emotional stressors in the job.

Keywordsemotional labour; comparative research; organisational support; social support; well-being
Sustainable Development Goals3 Good health and well-being
Middlesex University ThemeHealth & Wellbeing
LanguageEnglish
PublisherSAGE Publications
JournalJournalism
ISSN1464-8849
Electronic1741-3001
Publication dates
Online14 Jul 2022
PrintNov 2023
Publication process dates
Deposited14 Jul 2022
Accepted04 Jul 2022
Output statusPublished
Publisher's version
License
Copyright Statement

© The Author(s) 2022
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1177/14648849221115205
Web of Science identifierWOS:000825051600001
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