Survive was asked to help spread the word on this survey. The fear of increasing burnout among journalists was a huge motivator to start this website. Unfortunately the problem keeps getting worse. Helping with training gaps is not enough to solve it.
Please share this link and weigh in. The more we talk about what journalists face each day, the better chance workloads and mental health needs will start to get addressed.
The Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri is conducting an anonymous survey of current and former United States based journalists, journalism students and journalism educators to see what changes newsrooms and journalism schools could make to help prevent professional burnout.
The TV news industry is in flux. Crisis point: finding and retaining producers. Consider this: Your job will remain if reporters are phased out in the digital age. There is always a need for content finders and editorial context. Producers must be the best truth seekers, and BS detectors in the building, every day. You are the gatekeepers of truth. Gusty journalists with a job that has a high learning curve.
So let’s even that playing field. Let’s finally put what you really need to know to kick butt at your job, in one easy-to-reference spot.
This book is years in the making. Producers and managers spoke, listing skills most have to try and figure out largely on their own while on the job. Let’s make it easier.
Here’s a list of topics covered: How to stack a newscast How to choose leads How to get your writing done in time How to time your show correctly How to write clearly How to write to video How to tease How to avoid fact errors How to showcase (describes several techniques) How to handle team coverage and continuous coverage
I don’t usually show statistics. But this number below, the impressions really set me aback a bit. I chewed on what it could mean for a bit. I know that there are a lot of journalists that lay low and do their jobs no matter how short-staffed and no matter the station politics. I know a lot of them are passionate about being journalists and put up with a lot to do the vocation they love. But to me, this reaction to the post, and reactions I have received about workloads on LinkedIn posts show many just do not feel valued.
On LinkedIn, I mentioned looking around and thanking those workhorses. Many reached out to let me know they rarely are thanked and rarely are noticed.
Two things. There are a number of managers that have been taught that your paycheck thanks you and that you show the staff they are appreciated by leaving them to do their jobs. I bring this up because it is important to know that for some managers this is why you do not hear from them. The intention is in a way to show respect. It just doesn’t fit well with a growing workforce of journalists that expect communication in the newsroom and on the news.
The other point to make is there are obviously a lot of journalists that want to know you see their efforts. That means many want to know that they are doing what you want. Most journalists are highly goal-oriented. Telling them they meet or exceed the mark is important. It helps them pull through on those really tough days.
The post hit a nerve. The idea that so many looked at this post hits a nerve. Workhorses deserve respect. They keep the news on the air. They weather the storms. So again I ask, look around the newsroom. When is the last time you thanked the workhorses?
I put this post up on LinkedIn and want to make sure it is here on the website as well. When I started this website 10 years ago the goal was to help with training. I still want to focus on that primarily but over the last several months I have felt called to also bring up important issues facing the TV News business as well. I hope the time is right for more to hear the calls and actually start to make changes many veteran journalists can tell you are long overdue.
Here is the post:
Now that we know producers can get some signing bonuses, let’s talk EP recruitment. Just this week I have seen EP job postings that state you will produce a newscast every day and still need to coach other producers and oversee the daypart. Can we just unpack this a bi
In order to really protect the brand and quality, executive producers need to oversee not do then check in between. It’s hard enough when they are the chronic backups for anyone who is sick or on vacation.
There simply is no way an EP can truly train, recruit, showcase, punch up daily writing, oversee coverage decisions, monitor live decisions, and protect the station’s newscasts and brand for quality and credibility and produce each day. That is like asking an assembly line manager to work the line at the same time. Things will slip through the cracks and the line will clog up.
For the last several years the job I get calls about the most where there are either no applicants or none qualified is EP. Setting up EP jobs so they can truly learn how to think bigger picture, attend management meetings and learn how to lead a shift is monumental for the future of this industry. These EPs are your future NDs.
It is cheaper to hire another producer or writer to ease the workload and invest in growing EPs in the long run. Your current newsrooms benefit. Your future newsrooms benefit.
To all the EP’s right now braving producing newscasts and leading dayparts especially those who sometimes are the ONLY EP for the whole newsroom, you are strong. You are courageous. You have a right to stand up and say when the workload is too high and ask some be delegated elsewhere. Do not forget you can be the future ND. So you need to try your best to pace yourself and advocate to protect your team in any way you think will work.