Workplace well-being and support systems in journalism: comparative analysis of Germany and the United Kingdom

Šimunjak, Maja ORCID logoORCID: and Menke, Manuel (2022) Workplace well-being and support systems in journalism: comparative analysis of Germany and the United Kingdom. Journalism . ISSN 1464-8849 [Article] (Published online first) (doi:10.1177/14648849221115205)

PDF - Published version (with publisher's formatting)
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

Download (583kB) | Preview


Contemporary thinking of journalism as a high emotional labour profession calls into question the systems that are, or should be, in place to support journalists with this labour and in this way mitigate any of its potentially negative consequences, such as those on well-being, mental and physical health, and job performance. By drawing on organisational and social support theories, this article examines the perceptions, expectations, and support needs of journalists in Germany and the United Kingdom, the two European countries with the biggest bodies of practising journalists. Qualitative interviews with 32 German and 34 British journalists reveal important similarities but also differences between the two countries. Specifically, in both countries journalists reported primarily relying on their psychological capital to deal with emotional labour, although many were unsure what exactly constitutes it or how it has been developed. In Germany the social and supervisor support were often mentioned as effective, while in the UK social support was at times found to be hindered by newsroom culture and supervisors’ lack of understanding of the job pressures. Finally, it has been suggested by journalists in both countries that organisational support could be improved by an offer of training in emotional literacy for both journalists and managers, establishment of a point of contact tasked with pastoral care, and fair, transparent and formal structures that encourage and enable journalists to effectively deal with emotional stressors in the job.

Item Type: Article
Sustainable Development Goals:
Research Areas: A. > School of Media and Performing Arts > Media
Item ID: 35409
Notes on copyright: © The Author(s) 2022
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License ( which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Maja Simunjak
Date Deposited: 14 Jul 2022 18:11
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2022 11:07

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Activity Overview
6 month trend
6 month trend

Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.