Local journalism’s burnout crisis is unsustainable

Based on the findings from Elizabeth Thompson and Katelyn Chedraoui’s “Beyond the Breaking News: Exploring Burnout, Turnover Intention and Solutions for Sustainability in Local Media” report, Poynter wrote about crippling burnout in the journalism industry.

Roughly 72% of local journalists in a study of more than 500 participants reported experiencing personal burnout and 70% reported experiencing work-related burnout, per a survey published in late April by the Center for Innovation and Sustainability in Local Media at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill’s Hussman School of Journalism and Media. The age divide is also clear: More than 75% of journalists under 45 experienced both personal and work-related burnout while 62% and 57%, respectively, of those 45 and older reported the same.

Burnout has been verified as a medical diagnosis and also has nonphysical effects, like job departure. The study bears this out: 72% of participants said they had considered leaving their current job.

“It’s probably not surprising to a lot of people in the field, but it definitely should be something that’s dealt with and not thought of as OK,” said Elizabeth Thompson, a local news researcher at the center and the survey’s lead. “Having a large number of people experiencing burnout is not sustainable.”

The survey is one of the first conducted on burnout post-2020, said Katelyn Chedraoui, an undergraduate student researcher who worked on the study. The topic, she said, is very of the moment.

Read the entire article on Poynter’s website.