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Pandemic Causes Difficulties for Technology Journalists, Report Finds

David Paul

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journalists

The report asked journalists from 16 countries how Covid-19 has affected them and whether it has changed how they work.

A report from technology PR firm Touchdown PR has revealed the extent to which business and tech journalists have been affected by the pandemic.

The study, Working harder but paid less?’, was carried out in late 2020 and asked 146 journalists in 16 countries about the impact of the pandemic on their income, workload, how they adjusted to working from home.

Data showed that around one-quarter of journalists lost work during 2020 as a result of Covid-19, with 25% required to reduce their rates.

Similarly, around 18% of respondents said they were forced to find “non-journalist sources of income” during the lockdown period, whilst one-quarter said they found adjusting to home working a challenge.

Many respondents said they encountered difficulties adjusting to the new working conditions, with 65% subsequently working longer hours during lockdown when working from home.

Commenting on the results from the report, James Carter, founder and CEO of Touchdown, said: “The survey confirms some trends we already suspected, in particular the negative impact on the finances and mental health of many journalists during the pandemic.

“However, on a positive note, most have been highly resilient and have adapted quickly to working within the rules of their respective countries.

“Despite this, PR professionals need to work hard to meet the changing needs of their media contacts if they are to optimise each interaction.”

The pandemic has also taken its toll on mental health, the report found. Around one-third (32%) of journalists said their wellbeing had “worsened” since lockdown measures were implemented in March 2020. Almost one-quarter (23%) said they either had no one to talk to or chose not to talk to someone about their mental health.

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Despite the negative impacts of the pandemic, the future outlook among respondents remained generally upbeat. The majority (75%) said that they experienced either no change or an increase in workload during the pandemic.

Respondents also agreed that the pandemic will change how they carry out their roles forever. When asked about physical attendance at business events in the future, over one-third (35%) said they would attend fewer than before the pandemic, five times as many as the 7% who planned to attend more.

In terms of future work in the industry, 66% said they felt “either slightly or very optimistic” about finding work in 2021 despite the impact of the virus and lockdowns.

David Paul

Staff Writer, DIGIT

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