Berufliche Identität und Prekarisierung von Freien JournalistInnen in Österreich
Demands in journalistic work change remarkably. The journalistic 'boat-car' becomes the preferred working-model of western economies (Kaltenbrunner et al, 2007:93), thus journalists should present multi-media and acquisition skills, while self-promoting their stories to interested media companies. Problematic are potential flexploitation, precarious employment and the mixture of journalistic work and public relations. Herein lies the scientific and social relevance of this paper, which analyses
... the financial and creative situation of freelance journalists in Austria, their job-identity and their embedding in editorial contexts, providing first potential insights into freelance journalists in Austria. For this study 101 freelancers have been questioned by using a quantitative online questionnaire. The results show that freelancers, especially "real" freelancers, primarily work in the precariously paid journalistic field of print media, whilst freelancers with employee-like working conditions work for the public broadcasting network ORF. Freelance journalists are on average younger, mostly female and much better educated than all other journalists in Austria, while working five hours per week less in journalism. Their average income is 1.414 Euro gross, freelancers who work more than 20 hours per week earn 1.703 Euro pre-tax on average. They need to finance their living with additional employment – often in the field of public relation and advertising. Only elder journalists with experience and networks are able to establish themselves successfully in freelance journalism. For the young ones freelancing is a mandatory part of their apprenticeship which they need to accomplish before regular employment. These results provide an important starting point for all future research on freelance journalists in Austria.