In 2012 more than 1,000 Australian journalists became redundant. More than 500 more have taken a redundancy package since then.
Where are they now? What will happen to them in the future? And what are the consequences for journalism of this enormous contraction of the journalist workforce?
To explore these questions, a team of researchers from four universities embarked on the New Beats project last year, and completed a pilot study focusing on the experiences of around 100 journalists who took redundancy packages during 2012.
Since then we have been awarded an Australian Research Council grant to further develop the project over the next three years, so that we can look at the impact of these redundancies over an extended time frame.
To follow up our pilot study, we’re planning to undertake three more annual surveys of journalists who became redundant in Australia during or since 2012, the first of which we will conduct in the coming weeks. We also plan to conduct 60 extended interviews with journalist about the broad arc of their careers, and to produce a series of associated radio documentaries.
Through this project we aim to create a network of journalists who have taken a redundancy package to share information and gather data on jobs, demand for journalistic expertise, new career directions, re-training, and the impact of redundancy on professional identity, family life and well-being. You can find out a bit more about the project and our team by viewing our about page, and by checking out the media coverage of New Beats. We’re also on Twitter @newbeatsproject.
To follow up our 2013 pilot study, we’re planning to undertake three annual surveys of journalists who became redundant in Australia during and since 2012, the first of which we will conduct in the coming weeks. If you were a journalist who took a redundancy package in Australia during 2012, 2013, or 2014, and would like to be a participant in our three-year study, please let us know. All correspondence will be dealt with in confidence. We would also be happy to answer any questions you might have about the project.