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Identity fallout: The draining effects of technological and economic change on newspaper journalists
Unformatted Document Text:  IDENTITY FALLOUT 5 445). News companies, as well as other organizations, can reap the rewards of fostering workplaces that inspire high identification; workers with high identification are more likely to be committed to the organization, leading to greater cooperation, productivity, and morale among members, and trust in the organization (Ashforth & Mael, 1989; Pratt, 1998). Journalists’ perceptions of technological & economic change Journalists often are reticent toward change in the workplace, especially when they believe it conflicts with their professional values and identity (Gade, 2004; Ryfe, 2009; Schmitz Weiss & Domingo, 2010; Sylvie & Witherspoon, 2002). Journalistic norms focus on the quality of the work—such as good storytelling that is factually accurate and balanced, and meets the ethical standards of the profession—and increased production demands can result in workers perceiving that delivering the news is valued above getting the news right. Accuracy is another of the professional standards journalists believe makes their profession distinctive, and if they believe their organizations are forcing them to compromise accuracy, they will perceive it as a violation of one of the tenets of the profession, resulting in lower organizational identification. Dire financial straits have forced layoffs, putting additional strains on news workers. A national survey of U.S. journalists found the organizational workloads of about two-thirds of the news professionals had increased (Beam et al., 2009). As a result, journalists said they felt they had less autonomy. Not only do staffing changes affect the layoff survivors’ job roles, they can affect the workers’ morale, performance, and feelings toward the organization (Reinardy, 2009a; Reinardy,

Authors: Hinsley, Amber.
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IDENTITY FALLOUT  5
445). News companies, as well as other organizations, can reap the rewards of 
fostering workplaces that inspire high identification; workers with high identification 
are more likely to be committed to the organization, leading to greater cooperation, 
productivity, and morale among members, and trust in the organization (Ashforth & 
Mael, 1989; Pratt, 1998). 
Journalists’ perceptions of technological & economic change
Journalists often are reticent toward change in the workplace, especially when 
they believe it conflicts with their professional values and identity (Gade, 2004; Ryfe, 
2009; Schmitz Weiss & Domingo, 2010; Sylvie & Witherspoon, 2002). Journalistic 
norms focus on the quality of the work—such as good storytelling that is factually 
accurate and balanced, and meets the ethical standards of the profession—and 
increased production demands can result in workers perceiving that delivering the 
news is valued above getting the news right. Accuracy is another of the professional 
standards journalists believe makes their profession distinctive, and if they believe 
their organizations are forcing them to compromise accuracy, they will perceive it as 
a violation of one of the tenets of the profession, resulting in lower organizational 
identification. 
Dire financial straits have forced layoffs, putting additional strains on news 
workers. A national survey of U.S. journalists found the organizational workloads of 
about two-thirds of the news professionals had increased  (Beam et al., 2009). As a 
result, journalists said they felt they had less autonomy. Not only do staffing changes 
affect the layoff survivors’ job roles, they can affect the workers’ morale, 
performance, and feelings toward the organization  (Reinardy, 2009a; Reinardy, 


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