Understanding Precariousness in the Journalistic Sphere
14th European Sociological Association Conference
This communication handles the ambiguity the definition of labour precariousness at two different levels: a) the complexity of its theoretical definition and b) the existence and impact of diferent kinds of precariousness in the journalistic sphere in the portuguese media and news sectors. Quantitative data collected by CIES and OberCom over the course of two years, shows that the theoretical difficulties behind the definition of precariousness are mirrored by the reality of the news sector where precarious labour relations are still the reality for many professionals of the sector. Collected data also shows that there are many forms of precariousness: while the vast majority of surveyed journalists are currently working, the overall situation of the sector is very diverse in terms of contractual bonds to employers. Other factors, such as unpaid extra hours and working for several employers are also influential in building a wider conceptual chart about what precariousness in journalism is about. Analysed data supports the ideia of the current state of labour precariousness in journalism being na echo of a much wider discussion going on in contemporary economic systems: the wide range of concepts, not all emanating from the academy but also from the private and public / political sphere is a symptom not only of uncertain personal and individual professional prospects but also of our underlying innability to mitigate labour precariousness through effective and reflected governance. We believe that this incertainty is particulary nefarious in the journalistic sphere, given the close and historial dependance democratic societies on a strong, stable and prosperous news sector.