Study: Journalists ARE Alcoholics With Insomnia & Crap Diets

Study: Journalists ARE Alcoholics With Insomnia & Crap Diets
SHARE
THIS



A new study into the stress levels of journalists appears to have confirmed some well worn clichés about the industry – that hacks love a drink and poor diets, but arguably have better coping mechanisms when it comes to workplace stresses.

The study, titled Study Into The Mental Resilience of Journalists, was conducted over a seven month period by British neuroscientist Dr Tara Swart.

Forty journalists were selected for the research paper and all had to complete a blood test, wear a heart-rate monitor, kept a food diary and complete a brain profile questionnaire.

Some of the major findings of the study included:

• Despite being ranked as a highly stressful job – namely due to the deadlines – the cortisol from participants’ blood samples showed that journalists weren’t more stressed than those in other industries. In fact, the study’s participants cited outside work pressures (family, finances) as a bigger stress than work.

• Most of the respondents said they enjoyed their job and felt that journalism was a noble profession, hence they were more likely to do it for less money.

• Some 41 per cent of the subjects said they drank 18 or more units of alcohol a week, which is four units more than the recommended weekly allowance. Less than five per cent of them drank enough water, and some said they drank no water at all.

• Journalists were also much more likely to consume caffeine during the workday and “this correlated with higher reported stress and physical manifestations of stress (increased heart rate variability and higher cortisol levels)”.

• As a group, the journalists also exhibited lower executive functioning scores than the average person, indicating a lower than average ability to regulate emotions, suppress biases, solve complex problems, switch between tasks, and think flexibly and creatively.

• Over 25 per cent of respondents said they suffered from poor sleep due to “alcohol consumption, caffeine intake, eating late and disturbances from children”.

• Half of the respondents were aged over 35 and this group were shown to have less stress and higher resilience than their Gen Y counterparts. Dr Swart noting that measures to deal with workplace stress could be learned over time.

• Journalists were found to excel at “abstraction” – the ability to “think outside the square” and see things others don’t.

• They were also found to be good at “value tagging” or the ability to prioritise one thing over another. Journalists were found to be very good at sifting through large amounts of information and picking out the important bits.

• Respondents were found to have poor “executive function” which meant they suffered from poor sleep, nutrition, exercise and mindfulness. Many participants reported they had no time for breaks while working.

• Journalists were also terrible at “silencing the mind”, meaning they’d often fret about the past and worry about the future.

• Compared to other professions such as bankers, traders, or salespeople, journos showed they were more able to cope with pressure. Traits that make journalism a particularly stressful professions are deadlines, accountability to the public, unpredictable and heavy workloads, public scrutiny, repercussions on social media, and poor pay.

The report noted:  “The headline conclusion reached is that journalists are undoubtedly subject to a range of pressures at work and home, but the meaning and purpose they attribute to their work contributes to helping them remain mentally resilient despite this.

“Nevertheless, there are areas for improvement, including drinking more water and reducing alcohol and caffeine consumption to increase executive functioning and improve recovery during sleep.”

 

Latest News

Sugar Agency Wins Fairfax’s ‘Ads Are Better Rich’ Competition For 2018
  • Advertising
  • Media

Sugar Agency Wins Fairfax’s ‘Ads Are Better Rich’ Competition For 2018

Digital player Sugar Agency has been crowned the winner of this year’s ‘Ads Are Better Rich’ competition by Fairfax Media. Launched by Fairfax’s chief revenue officer, Matt Rowley, at the company’s 2018 Agency Symposium, the challenge aims to encourage agencies to push creative boundaries by using rich media formats to develop a campaign that promotes their agency. […]

Former APN Outdoor Sales Boss Launches OOH Consultancy
  • Advertising
  • Media

Former APN Outdoor Sales Boss Launches OOH Consultancy

An ex-sales director from APN Outdoor is trying his hand at consulting to advertisers looking to spend some coin in the out-of-home market. After 13 years at APN leading its national direct sales and then its NSW agency sales teams, Tim Rose resigned from the business in shortly before it had agreed to be sold […]

Melbourne Agency Taska Media Wins Exhibition Events Australia Media Account
  • Media

Melbourne Agency Taska Media Wins Exhibition Events Australia Media Account

Independent media agency Taska Media has secured the entire national media business of Australia’s largest consumer events company Exhibition & Events Australia (EEA). The deal that will see the agency deliver a full suite of television, radio, out of home, digital, partnerships and publisher-focused media buying. The boutique agency said it won the account for EEA […]

US Culture Consultancy Opens Australian Office
  • Marketing

US Culture Consultancy Opens Australian Office

Consulting firm Ministry of Culture (MoC) has announced the expansion of its US-based business to Australia with a new office in Sydney. It is the first international office for the US group, which will focus on providing cultural transformation, consumer insights and culture creation to Australian and Asia-Pacific clients. MoC’s Australian founder, David Art Wales […]