Contribute to The New Beats, A Survey of Journalists Who Have Changed or Lost Their Jobs

18 Jul 2018
Contribute to The New Beats, A Survey of Journalists Who Have Changed or Lost Their Jobs

As stated in an article last week by Glenda Nevill on, “that the craft of journalism is changing almost daily and traditional media has experienced unprecedented digital disruption is a statement of fact.” But how do journalists, many of whom are losing their jobs or finding their journalistic occupations change beyond recognition, cope in such an atmosphere?

Wits University academic and PEN SA member Dr Glenda Daniels has called what is happening in our media a figurative “journalist bloodbath”:

its effects are noticeable in the quality of writing, editing and often a lack context in stories. Daniels is heading the South African wing of a global journalism survey, The New Beats, which is focusing on “professional identity transitions”.

Today, on the behest of people involved in The New Beats study, we are asking our members who are either currently journalists or have been journalists, to contribute to The New Beats survey. In particular, the survey “tracks journalists who have left the newsroom for other beats, such as a gig here and a gig there, freelance work, academia, PR and govt comms, early retirement, among others. [It] also encompasses those who accepted retrenchment packages, and those who were made redundant.”

In looking at these “professional identity transitions”, Dr Daniels and her colleagues in many countries around the world will gain insights into how the unprecedented media disruption of the past ten to twenty years has unfolded for media workers, both in positive and negative terms. (One of Dr Daniels’ colleagues has, for example, found that some media workers have been relieved to break free of newsrooms.)

“It’s important that the history of this transition is recorded,” Dr Daniels says.

The New Beats survey is anonymous, online, and can be accessed here.

(Image by Nick Mulgrew)