From Battery Hens to Chicken Feed: The Perceived Precarity and Identity of Australian Journalists

Article English OPEN
Patrick, Holly. ; Elks, Kate. (2015)
  • Publisher: University of Melbourne
  • Subject: Precarity | Professional Identity | Journalism | Cultural Work | Digitalisation | 070 News media, journalism & publishing | NE Print media

There is an industrial revolution taking place in the media sphere, and it is a result of digitalisation. Between mass layoffs and falling word rates, Australian journalists are exposed to multiple potential sources of precarity. This paper makes use of a case study of Australian journalists to explore the perceived causes and experiences of precarity for journalists working across the media industries. We find that the perceptions of precarity for salaried journalists are different from those of freelancers. We also find that not all of our journalist participants consider their work to be precarious, but that these perceptions are shaped by their professional identities. We contribute to the literature on employment precarity by identifying an unexplored role that preferred professional identities may play in enabling and limiting career mobility, and therefore in contributing to perceptions of precarity.
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