It's no secret that media professionals have been experiencing a constant feeling of being burnt out. In an age where 24-hour news and crazy deadlines are the norm, the media industry not only sees its seniors getting burn out but its junior staff too.

Students who have just finished studies go into the media industry and are bombarded with the amount of work that they need to do. This leaves them feeling burnt out really early in their careers. Now, knowing that employees are constantly tired, it becomes clear that the world is making use of a ‘broken’ media model.

Arianna Huffington, founder and CEO of Thrive Global, collapsed in 2007 due to being overworked. In an article for DIGIDAY, Lara O’Reilly speaks to Huffington about the media landscape and how “the old model is broken”. Huffington says that companies will be using “unusual diversification attempts” to change the ‘broken’ media model.

Companies in the media industry will need to try new and different things in hopes that they can either ‘fix’ the current model, or create an entirely new one.

Why is the media model ‘broken’?

Print journalism started in 1440, which means that there was a long lead time before the content was actually printed. This means that there was time to create a story before publishing. Now, thanks to digital and social media, content creators have a lot more pressure because they need to create more content and get the news out as it happens.

Therefore, this media model worked successfully for professionals under less pressure in the industry, but now, everything is instant and the world has media at the tip of their fingertips. Content gets read the second it hits the Internet, and news is constant because events take place every second of every day.

This leaves the audience wanting more — constantly — and writers under massive amounts of pressure.

Because of Huffington’s personal experience with this ‘broken’ media model, Thrive Global has implemented workshops called ‘28-day challenges’ that are aimed at improving employee behaviour. The challenges are designed to improve specific aspects of employees' lives, such as sleep, relationship with technology, gratitude and mindfulness.

“We used all the data we collected and used the workshops like a laboratory to build a behavior-change product. It’s built to be a platform with a lot of backend APIs so companies can plug in anything else they love [that helps] employees de-stress, avoid burnout and be more productive.” Huffington says.

What should you do about the ‘broken’ model?

Employers need to make some serious changes in the workplace. “Could people eventually take three and even four day weekends? Certainly. Will the job-sharing increase? I think so. People will need to be paid the same or even more for working less time, so they can afford more leisure time,” says Richard Branson.

Employers need to understand that people will burnout when they work in highly pressured environments, which leads to low productivity and poor quality work.

Employers need to ensure that they focus on creating a more flexible environment, and employees will need to be able to show that they can be trusted when they are given more flexibility.

As an employee, it is vital to show that you are trustworthy and hardworking. Be the living proof that working smarter means working fewer hours.

Don’t work hard, work smart!

Do you think that companies should be focusing on creating a more flexible work environment? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Now that you know how the media model is ‘broken, be sure to read The gig economy – challenging the traditional 9 to 5 to have a clear understanding as to how these challenges are vital in the working environment.
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