The big NZ journalism survey: Underpaid, under-trained, under-resourced, unsure about the future – but still idealistic

Profile 2007

  • James Hollings
  • Geoff Lealand
  • Alan Samson
  • Elspeth Tilley
Keywords: Census, demographics, journalism profile, journalism standards, communications technology, media ethics, media ownership


This survey (n=514) updates and extends previous surveys of New Zealand journalists, by measuring attitudes to resourcing, news coverage, ethics and standards, changing technology, ownership and other topics. Reasonably broad coverage of print, broadcast and internet journalists was achieved. Low pay and a lack of support and training, rather than staff numbers, were the standout concerns. Most respondents believed coverage of local, political, business and features was good, while sports achieved the highest rating and foreign coverage the lowest. Respondents generally rated ethics and standards as important, and while they had concerns about sensationalism, they did not seek more regulation. They considered the media was generally performing its watchdog role well, but had concerns about the impact of decreasing resources (especially staff numbers, levels of experience, and time to develop in-depth investigations) on that watchdog role, as well as the impact of changing technology, commercial and advertising pressures. They were evenly divided between antagonism and tolerance in their stances towards public relations. Respondents’ political views were generally neutral or slightly left. There were significant differences across gender, job status, employer and age in many of the results. Demographic data suggest the workforce is becoming more feminised, (as earlier surveys have suggested), with disproportionate numbers of younger women and older men, and an apparent pay disparity between males and females.

Note: The PJR published version did not include the politics section. A second full text file is linked with the politics section included.


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How to Cite
Hollings, J., Lealand, G., Samson, A., & Tilley, E. (2007). The big NZ journalism survey: Underpaid, under-trained, under-resourced, unsure about the future – but still idealistic: Profile 2007. Pacific Journalism Review : Te Koakoa, 13(2), 175-197.

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