John McGuire and Ray Murray, associate professors at Oklahoma State University, interviewed 18 sports journalists at The Oklahoman and the Tulsa World to gather information on how the new demands of social media and the 24-hour news cycle were affecting their job satisfaction.
Based on those interviews, the researchers concluded that journalists are experiencing greater stress and feel a sense of inequity with their present job regarding workload and compensation. The interviewees also saw the new multimedia environment as hurting reporting practices they consider vital to the quality of their work.
The basis of McGuire and Murray’s research was the Equity Theory, which ultimately tests whether the amount of work put into a job equals the resulting compensation (including the satisfaction an employee receives from performing their given tasks). As sports journalism has shifted to a multimedia platform, more and more content is being asked from reporters. In addition to print stories, print journalists now have the additional workload that includes blogs, social media, videos and live chats. One reporter with 25 years’ experience said in the interview, “You’ve got to be in too many places at once.”
Due to the small number of interviews performed at only two newspapers, the researchers noted that the results could not be generalized to a larger population.
To read the full text of the study:
McGuire, J. & Murray, R. (2016). New work demands create inequity for sports journalists. Newspaper Research Journal, 37 (1), 58-69.