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More than 3 in 10 Welsh journalists considering quitting the industry says report

More than 30pc of Welsh journalists are considering leaving the industry according to a new report by university researchers.

A study commissioned by the Welsh Government found that nearly three quarters of journalists in the country like their jobs, but worry about keeping them.

The report by the Centre for the Creative Economy at Cardiff University revealed that more than 65pc of Welsh journalists have thought about leaving the sector in favour of another profession, with 31pc of them in imminent danger of leaving.

It found the main reasons given for wanting to leave were job security (21pc), pay (18pc), and stress and burnout (18pc) with volume of workloads and time pressures also major factors.

Lead researcher Dr Marlen Komorowski of Cardiff's School of Journalism, Media and Culture

Lead researcher Dr Marlen Komorowski of Cardiff’s School of Journalism, Media and Culture

Lead researcher Dr Marlen Komorowski, who is based at Cardiff’s School of Journalism, Media and Culture, said: “For the first time, we’re able to see in granular detail the impact declining readerships, job cuts and increased workloads have had on journalism in Wales.

“A thriving journalism sector is vital for democracy and oversight of power. Some of the structural challenges faced here are arguably deeper than other parts of the UK – as is shown in such a high proportion of journalists considering leaving the profession.”

“It’s clear that the vast majority of those we surveyed are passionate about the work they do – with three quarters saying they are happy in their roles.

“But with so many working under precarious situations, it’s of little surprise that such a high share of journalists in Wales re-assess their futures in the sector.”

The study also revealed a lack of diversity across newsrooms, with the majority of journalists surveyed being 45-54 year-old men from middle-class households.

And it identified five so-called ‘news deserts’ in Wales, defining a news desert as somewhere “unequivocally perceived by Welsh journalists as having insufficient coverage in either Welsh or English and in any form of news output.”

The named areas were the district of Llandudno, St Clears in Carmarthenshre, Carmarthen town, the Mumbles in Swansea and the area arond Monmouth.

The report suggests a series of measures to safeguard journalism in Wales, including support for freelancers, targeted support for inclusive and diverse journalistic content, better opportunities for people from disadvantaged backgrounds and support for journalism in areas that are currently “poorly covered.”

Report co-author Silvia Rose, who is co-director and project manager for Inclusive Journalism Cymru, said: “Through speaking directly with journalists and stakeholders in Wales, we were able to properly gauge the landscape and develop an evidence-based blueprint to create a healthier news culture.

“It was clear that despite the worrying issues outlined in the report, the value of independent journalism is still recognised. It may be a long road to improvement, but at least we know where to start.”

The full report can be read here.