Pandemic-led changes to newsrooms look to be permanent and global

Image via PressGazette

The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism released The Changing Newsroom 2021 report. The report is based on a survey of 132 senior industry leaders from 42 countries, as well as a series of in-depth interviews.

These are the key findings:

  • ‘Hybrid working’ will soon be the norm for the vast majority of journalists. Respondents say their companies are now mostly (79%) on board with the shift to hybrid working and even more (89%) say they themselves are committed
  • Most respondents say their news organization is doing a good job with gender diversity (78%), but fewer say the same about ethnic diversity (38%) and attracting those from less advantaged backgrounds (37%) or with diverse political views (33%). In the light of the Black Lives Matter movement and greater awareness of historic injustices, ethnic diversity remains the biggest priority for media companies – identified by 35% as the single most important priority in terms of improving newsroom diversity, followed by gender diversity (26%) and greater diversity from less advantaged groups (17%).
  • While participants believe that efficiency (70%) and Employee well being (61%) gains from hybrid working, they also think collaboration (45%), creativity (48%), and communication (42%) suffer from it.
  • Participants said they still struggle to attract and retain technology and data skills which are in great demand elsewhere. However, most respondents remain broadly confident (63%) about keeping newsroom staff. Around half of the respondents (47%) felt that the pandemic has made recruitment and retention of media staff harder, with less than a fifth (17%) saying that it was easier.

The pandemic has affected some rapid changes in working spaces in the last two years. It is interesting to see how people experience these adjustments and how they would like to continue working.

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