University of Kansas journalism professor Scott Reinardy surveyed nearly 900 working TV journalists and found that 22% of the respondents showed signs of job burnout. Eighty-one percent said they work differently than a few years ago, with increased social media responsibilities, more platforms to work on, and more frequent deadlines. One morning show host reported that she was required to tweet three times every 30 minutes, while doing her show.
Being expected to do more in the same amount of time was a common response among those surveyed. The stress and cynicism that showed up prominently as classic signs of burnout are taking a toll as well. Of the 22 percent showing such signs, 80 percent responded “yes” or “I don’t know” when asked whether they intended to leave the business.
“Many said, ‘I can’t do this much longer,’” Reinardy said. “You’re probably going to see the TV business get younger, a little more inexperienced and, as a result, there will be a loss of institutional knowledge, which doesn’t bode well for community journalism at any level.”