Female journalists more likely to suffer burnout and leave the profession than men

In 2009, University of Kansas journalism professor Scott Reinardy found that 62% of the female journalists he surveyed either intended to leave the profession or were uncertain about their future. In his new study, the figure is up to 67%; it’s 55% for men.

Women also reported higher levels of exhaustion than their male colleagues, and while there was no significant difference between the two in terms of cynicism,burnout both men and women were in what is considered the high range of cynicism as related to burnout.

Just among women, those who stated they intended to leave the field had significantly higher rates of exhaustion, cynicism and significantly lower levels of professional efficacy, or feeling like their organization supported them.

Reinardy says in a press release on his report that “this group of women are classic burnout cases” who don’t feel supported by their employers, and “the only resolution is often to change jobs or leave the field altogether.”

Reinardy has been on the journalism burnout beat for at least eight years. In 2007, he reported that journalists 34 and under were the most exhausted and cynical toward their work. His study from eight years ago found that 44% of the young respondents were uncertain about remaining in journalism.

* 2015 report: Study shows journalism burnout affects women more than men (ku.edu)
* 2009 study: Female journalists more likely to leave newspapers (ku.edu)
* Young journalists confront burnout: A Reinardy study from 2007 (eijnews.org)