The Potential Impact of Work-From-Home on Newsrooms

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Work flow and the physical management of employees at news media companies were turned upside down the first quarter of 2020 as COVID-19 rippled across the world. While newsrooms still looks different region-to-region, depending in part on how virus numbers look at the moment, news management is trying to determine what to do now, what to do in the next year, and what this crisis may do to the way newsroom employees work in the future.

“The Potential Impact of Work-From-Home on Newsrooms” delves into how WFH is going and what workers need to do it effectively (hint: it’s more than a laptop and Zoom subscription) as some media companies prepare to remain remote at least until the end of 2020. Might the shift be permanent? This report brings together research, experts, and case studies to shed a light on what leadership skills and remote guidance are needed in a WFH culture.

Who should read the report?

CEOs, HR leaders and employees, senior department managers


Mary Meehan is a veteran reporter who most recently worked the health beat at the Ohio Valley ReSource, a National Public Radio (NPR) regional collaborative. Her work has appeared in National Geographic Online, the Columbia Journalism Review, and Nieman Reports. As a 2016 Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, Mary (who worked from home for a decade) studied digital journalism and the challenge of using public health policy to create sustainable social change.

Detailed overview

Many months after newsrooms around the world sent employees home in a scrambling response to the COVID pandemic, everyone has had a chance to take a deep breath and see what’s happened, what the science foreshadows about the virus in the next year or so, and what’s working and not working about the WFH situation most companies find themselves in.

Working from home — or at least more of it than media companies did pre-COVID — may be the future for many reasons, including expenses and employee happiness. Although WFH situations were thrown together urgently earlier this year, they can now be thought through a bit more as the industry looks at what happens in the second half of 2020 and beyond. Mary’s report details research showing WFH can be successful with structure and nurturing.

“The Potential Impact of Work-From-Home on Newsrooms,” which offers lessons for all media departments, looks at:

  • The shift to working remotely
  • Work-from-home policies and support
  • Case studies from McClatchy, Cox Media Group, WFPL, and Skift’s B2B publication
  • Balancing work-life while working from home (especially for women)
  • The reality of the tech gap
  • How management can help

Work-from-home likely is not a COVID phenomenon. But in this COVID moment, when news media companies are thinking outside most boxes they’ve ever worked within, the industry needs to take a strategic look at when, where, and how it works. “The Potential Impact of Work-From-Home on Newsrooms” is an excellent place to start.

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