FSD2361 Finnish Journalists in Changing Media: Journalist Survey 2007

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  • Jyrkiäinen, Jyrki (University of Tampere. Department of Journalism and Mass Communication. Journalism Research and Development Centre)
  • Raittila, Pentti (University of Tampere. Department of Journalism and Mass Communication. Journalism Research and Development Centre)


job characteristics, job satisfaction, journalism, journalists, mass media, press, working conditions, workloads

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The survey studied how Finnish journalists view their own work and working conditions, the changing media environment, multimedia journalism, and Finnish society.

The respondents were asked about their present job duties and whether their job included supervisory status or responsibility for some special area. Freelancers were asked about the number of employers they had had in 2006 and from what media sector. Respondent opinions were charted on how important certain job issues were to them (e.g. challenging work, career prospects, control over working hours, work diversity, wage level, security of job, workplace relations, possibility to have an impact in society). Further questions covered general job satisfaction and possible problems at work such as increased stress over deadlines, insufficient pay compared to tasks, authoritarian management style, competition and distrust between colleagues, lack of control over working hours or content of work etc. The respondents were also asked how they would like to improve their workplace.

Change in work was charted by asking whether a number of things had increased or decreased since the beginning of the year 2005. Things mentioned included, for example, the length/duration of stories/features/items, the number of stories/features/items produced per week per staff member, multimedia working, the use of the same story/feature/item for different media within the same media company or between media companies. Another question explored whether the number of meetings, phone calls or e-mails, or pressure to work overtime etc. had increased or decreased during the past year. The respondents were asked whether certain job characteristics caused them harm or brought joy and satisfaction. The characteristics mentioned included the amount of work, travelling for work, learning new technologies or work methods, workplace relations, being in the public eye etc.

Commitment to the workplace, the media company, and to the professional identity of journalists was studied. Change in time spent on different phases of work (e.g. planning, data gathering, writing/shooting of footage) was charted, likewise the change in average time spent on one story/feature/item and on multimedia journalism. The respondents were asked whether they receive feedback on their work and from whom. Views on what will happen in the media world in the future and the consequences to the quality and ethics of journalism in Finland were probed. The respondents were also asked how well a number of statements relating to the Finnish media corresponded to their own ideas of it. A set of statements explored opinions on various aspects of Finnish society, its politics and values. Finally, the respondents were asked whether they thought certain bodies (e.g. the police, citizen organisations, trade unions, Parliament, the EU, local decision-makers, the church, banks, political parties, big companies) have too much or too little power.

Background variables included the respondent's gender, age group, highest level of education, vocational education for journalism, type of municipality where the workplace is located, length of current employment, time working as a journalist, income, and type of contract.

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