Participation in Newsroom Decision-making: A Study of Role Stress the Case of ERTA.

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Addis Ababa University


The attributes of role stress are examined ill this study review. III particular, it focuses on the level of role stress perceived by newsroom journalists ill relation to participation in newsroom decision-making. Role stress is often the result of mergers; acquisitions and restructurillg that make employees unsure of their lIew job responsibilities the study attempts to look at what level journalists perceived role stress in the newsroom in light with ERT's changing process. The newsroom was chosen to be a focus of the study because it is where the entire journalistic work almost carried out and the one that may be llighty affected by the change process. In light with the restructuring process, the study examined the role stress effect on the newsroom journalists. The research count on three independent variables to determine the relationship between the perceived level of role stress namely role conflict and role ambiguity in newsroom decision-making process. Based on this, the study also attempted to answer relevant questions such as at whether journalists and editors in the newsroom are certain about their authority, responsibilities and amount of autonomy they have experienced in newsroom decision-making as well as newsroom task decision. The research that evolves a survey method, found a potential stress gap, especially in areas that were most importallt for working journalists in newsroom decision-making and newsrol.:"'1 tasks decisions. The research that employed combination methods of S0 {~1 ~tting questionnaire and focus group discussion-was carried out among randomly selected 100 ERTAjournalists. Where journalistic tasks are concerned, it was found that generally respondents of the study have little say ill the day-to-day lIewsroom tasks decision in which they are involved. However, journalists only found some autol/omy in some journalistic tasks such as amount of time in writing a story and length of the sto/y while management have the final say in most of the news tasks. The level of role conflict ami role ambiguity experienced by journalists with regard to decision-making in the newsroom was thus, found at highest level. In conclusion, the study suggested the importance of participation in influencing role conflict and role ambiguity and with greater participation in decision-making that employees were able to reduce grievances ami differences. Hence, reducing role conflict and role ambiguity ill return made employees able to clarify certain roles alld actions. In addition, some practical intervention strategies for reducing role ambiguity and role conflict are discussed. Finally, future research recommendations that seem to flow fr0111 tile two dimensions of role stress literature are outlined for the reader



Newsroom Decision-making, ERTA