Reuters Institute: Hybrid Working and Improving Diversity Remain Twin Challenges for Publishers

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The Reuters Institute report “Changing Newsrooms 2021: Hybrid Working and Improving Diversity Remain Twin Challenges for Publishers” reveals that the “hybrid working” will soon be the norm for many news organisations, with some people working in the office and others working remotely.

The report, based on a survey of 132 senior industry leaders from 42 countries and a series of in-depth interviews, suggests that the industry is still struggling with attracting talent and addressing lack of diversity.

In the study, 79% respondents say their companies are mostly on board with hybrid working and around 9% say they are looking to return to a working model as similar as possible to before the COVID-19 pandemic.

That the pandemic has made recruitment and retention of media staff harder felt around half of respondents from the Reuters study.

“News organisations are pressing ahead with plans to redesign offices, upgrade technology, reduce desk space/office space and renegotiate contracts with employees to accommodate more flexible working. But many worry that the full implications of the hybrid newsroom have not been fully worked through, with concerns about losses to ‘creativity, communication, and culture’ (3Cs).”

Some other issues were also discussed within the report such as mental health issues of employees. Interviewees say that the pandemic has increased the risk of burnout while some employees have suffered from isolation and mental health issues.

The report presents initiatives that have been implemented in the last year to address these issues.

The Reuters Institute report supports previous findings of an European Federation of Journalists study. The EFJ report “Journalists working from home? A labour right perspective for a hybrid future” noted that the future is hybrid, although “working from home policies” implemented by media companies are far from perfect and should be voluntary and reversible.

You can read the Reuters Institute report here.

Source: Reuters Institute, EFJ