'Don't rock the boat': Pervasive precarity and industrial inertia among Queensland journalists

  • Linda Brady Griffith University, Nathan
Keywords: Australia, collectivism, digital disruption, Fourth Estate, industrial relations, journalism, MEAA, precarity, Queensland, unions, workers' rights


While considerable academic attention has been paid to the effect of industry turbulence on journalists’ perceptions of their professional identity and the normative values of journalism over the past two decades, there has been less focus on how transformations wrought by digital incursion, corporate economising, and the rise of neoliberal ideologies might have injured journalist’s industrial agency. This article argues that journalists’ willingness to assert or advance their industrial rights at work has been diminished in Australia by the increase in precarity that has arisen as a result of shifts in the media landscape. It argues disruption has created precarious working environments in which uncertainty and fear drive an unprecedented and almost universal sense of self-preservation that has detached journalists from industrial engagement and the mechanisms that support safe and secure working conditions—to the detriment of the journalism industry and the public it serves.


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Author Biography

Linda Brady, Griffith University, Nathan

Linda Brady is an Adjunct Research Fellow with the Griffith University Centre for Social and Cultural Research, in Queensland, Australia. Her research focuses on journalists’ industrial rights and agency. She is a former journalist and newspaper editor who worked in both Australia and Sri Lanka, with more than 30 years’ experience in the journalism and communications fields.


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How to Cite
Brady, L. (2022). ’Don’t rock the boat’: Pervasive precarity and industrial inertia among Queensland journalists. Pacific Journalism Review : Te Koakoa, 28(1 & 2), 173-188. https://doi.org/10.24135/pjr.v28i1and2.1250