Research finds 60% of financial journalists concerned about job security

60% of Australian financial journalists are increasingly concerned about their job security, despite experiencing audience growth between 20 and 50%, research from corporate and financial communications consultancy, Honner, has indicated.

Falling advertising revenue, closing newsrooms, and large-scale stand downs and redundancies across the Australian media industry were at the root of journalists’ concerns, despite 80% of financial journalists reporting that their workload has increased.

Financial journalists are facing increasing workloads and worries about job security

In the past month, 10 Daily and Buzzfeed Australia’s news rooms have closed, 250 redundancies and stand downs have occurred at Bauer Media and News Corp has closed over 100 titles. Ad spend for the month of April was projected to decline by 25-30%.

Honner’s research surveyed a national database of active financial reporters from both the trade and financial press.

Key pressures facing reporters in the sector throughout the pandemic include the speed which financial markets continue to change due to COVID-19, and the challenges of working from home. However, 80% of respondents said they were not under pressure to find a COVID-19 angle on every story and instead are seeking a more diverse range of stories.

Despite the difficulties faced by journalists working from home, 70% of the reporters said they would prefer to continue working more days at home after social distancing measures have eased. 30% of respondents were glad not to have to commute anymore and 25% enjoyed being able to set their own hours and work at their own pace.

The journalists appeared to have taken well to virtual briefings, with more than three quarters of financial journalists saying that they would like to attend more and 79% suggesting 30 minutes was the ideal timeframe.

Phone calls remain the preferred method of conducting interview, but 41% of journalists were happy to interview over Zoom.

Honner managing director, Paul Cheal, praised the work financial journalists are doing and said he wanted to give back to them.

“Financial markets have experienced whipsaw volatility for months now, adding financial worries to investors and savers across the country. With ongoing economic uncertainty, the pressure remains on financial journalists to deliver news and explain the impacts to everyday Australians, as well as those working across Australia’s substantial financial sector.

“In this context, we wanted to take a pulse check to see how journalists are coping, where they need help and what their priorities are during this exceptional time,” Cheal said.


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