A rise in informal labor, characterized by contracted and non-salaried positions, has been observed in many industry sectors including journalism. While opportunities for freelance journalists have increased, the journalism industry has simultaneously experienced mass layoffs. Using a survey (N = 411), with quantitative and qualitative measures, this study assesses freelancers’ experiences in the US context with a particular attention to gender. The study finds that women perceive freelancing, but not full-time journalism, as compatible with raising children. Although there were no differences in perceptions about layoffs and job stability, the women in the sample were more likely to rely on freelancing as the only job and subsequently express concerns over pay. Open-ended responses provide further insight into the state of the journalism industry, full-time employment, and gender dynamics.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This project was supported by The Pennsylvania State University?s Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications. The authors wish to thank the anonymous reviewers for their useful comments at earlier stages of this paper. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Pennsylvania State University.
This project was supported by The Pennsylvania State University’s Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications.
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- journalism industry
- women journalists