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Union survey finds high stress levels among journalists

Journalists working for two major Scottish publishing groups feel pressured to work long hours and that their deadlines are unachievable, according to a union survey.

The National Union of Journalists has questioned members at Johnston Press and Scottish Provincial Press as part of a survey looking into the stress levels of journalists in Scotland, after a similar study four years ago.

Among the findings were that 82pc of Johnston Press journalists feel they are not consulted about changes in the workplace while 58pc of those at Scottish Provincial Press feel they have unachievable deadlines.

At SPP, 76pc of NUJ members responded to the survey, which was based on questions used by the Health and Safety Executive, while at JP, 54pc completed the survey.

Other findings were that 72pc of journalists at SPP felt under pressure to work long hours, compared to 69pc of those at Johnston Press.

For journalists at SPP, 73pc said they were not consulted about changes at work, while 55pc of JP journalists said they had unachievable deadlines.

Assistant NUJ organiser Dominic Bascombe said: “We have got journalists who know the job and know what they have to do but they are facing these pressures and are having to work faster and very intensively.

“People feel that things are changing but they are not being consulted or being part of that.”

Dominic added the stress levels found in the surveys were comparable to those in the previous survey four years ago.

Union members at Newsquest titles in Scotland and Clyde and Forth Press are also being asked to take part in the survey, with the full results expected to be published next year.

Since the survey was carried out, the NUJ had held meetings with SPP about the results and is due to meet with Johnston Press soon.

David Bourn, editorial director at SPP, said he had met with the NUJ to discuss the results of the survey and had requested further details, including how many staff members had taken part.

He said: “At that meeting the NUJ acknowledged that there was no long-hours culture at SPP, we are the only media group in Scotland not to have made any journalists redundant during the recession and the only media group in Scotland to have consistently paid annual salary increases.”

Johnston Press has not responded to requests for a comment.


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  • October 18, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    Filed under ‘No s**t, Sherlock’.

    Did the union really need to conduct a survey to discover the bleedin’ obvious or was this just to nail down what everyone already knows?

    And, why restrict the survey to Scotland?

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  • October 23, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    I think if you looked within almost any workplace in the UK right now you would find that most employees of any large Co are stressed… still lets pick on JP again.

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