KU News: Study finds high levels of job satisfaction among copy editors, little negative effect from pandemic

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Study finds high levels of job satisfaction among copy editors, little negative effect from pandemic

LAWRENCE — The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted jobs across the workforce, including the editorial sector. But a new study from the University of Kansas found it did not significantly affect how copy editors, proofreaders and fact-checkers felt about their work and that those working in the professions still have high job satisfaction and a passion for their work in a time of declining trust in media.

KU Doctor of Education degrees in educational administration, higher education administration now offered online

LAWRENCE — Through Jayhawk Global, the University of Kansas will offer its educational leadership & policy studies Doctor of Education degrees (available with a concentration in either higher education administration or educational administration) in a fully online format. The move is intended to meet the educational needs of working professionals.

Full stories below.

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Contact: Mike Krings, KU News Service, 785-864-8860, [email protected], @MikeKrings

Study finds high levels of job satisfaction among copy editors, little negative effect from pandemic

LAWRENCE — The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted jobs across the workforce, including the editorial sector. But a new study from the University of Kansas found it did not significantly affect how copy editors, proofreaders and fact-checkers felt about their work and that those working in the professions still have high job satisfaction and a passion for their work in a time of declining trust in media.

Researchers surveyed 472 participants in fall 2021 working in news media, book publishing, corporate communications, academic editing and other fields in both full-time and freelance roles. Results showed that most respondents did not feel burned out or overworked and that many did not feel that the pandemic negatively affected their work. They also felt passionate about the importance of their work, according to the study.

Alyssa Appelman, associate professor of journalism & mass communications, studies the effects of journalistic practices and how they influence audience perception of news credibility. Copy editors are often behind-the-scenes types who are not visible to readers, but their work determines how audiences perceive news. Research has shown that typos, grammatical errors and other mistakes affect opinions of news credibility.

“I’m interested in what editors do and how that affects how readers perceive their work. People who do these jobs have a very important role in media, but they don’t tend to be studied as much as writers,” Appelman said. “We were also interested in this group because perceptions of news credibility are low right now and editors are important in ensuring accuracy and credibility. So we wanted to see how they felt about their roles in that part of the industry.”

In addition to the pandemic, industry changes have also hit media especially hard over the years. With layoffs, downsizing, consolidation, transition away from print and other shifts, the researchers wanted to better understand how that affected copy editors’ morale.

In the study, participants were asked to rate their levels of job satisfaction, burnout, role overload and perception of work quality as well as their satisfaction with their schedules, salaries and prospects for advancement. They were also asked open-ended questions about the consequences of COVID-19 and industry changes on their work and industry changes.

“The editors had high job satisfaction across these measures. People who are doing this work are happy in their jobs,” Appelman said. “We were happy to see that editors felt a high level of satisfaction in their work.”

Co-written by Kirstie Hettinga of California Lutheran University, the study was published in Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly.

Appelman and Hettinga’s hypothesis that copy editors would have above-average job satisfaction was confirmed. However, their hypothesis that the sample would report higher-than-average burnout and role overload was not. That came as a pleasant surprise, Appelman said, though the fact that respondents had more moderate levels of satisfaction with their prospects for advancement and their salaries did not.

Another enlightening finding was that the pandemic did not have a substantial effect on all respondents’ job satisfaction, Appelman said. Several reported having to switch to a remote work setup. But many, especially freelancers, already worked remotely, and many reported they enjoyed the work-life balance they were able to attain via remote work and did not look forward to returning to an office. Freelance editors did report a slightly higher level of job satisfaction than those who worked full-time for one employer, according to study results.

The authors also are journalism educators, and both have worked as copy editors. In addition to understanding perceptions of those in the industry, they are preparing the next generation of editors. In securing a survey sample pool from several professional editing organizations, they found a diverse workforce.

“One of the biggest takeaways for us as educators is just the breadth of this field,” Appelman said. “In our sample, we found people doing this work in book publishing, corporate communications, newspapers, magazines and several other formats. There are opportunities for students with this skill set, and people who do this work report a high level of job satisfaction.”

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The official university Twitter account has changed to @UnivOfKansas.

Refollow @KUNews for KU News Service stories, discoveries and experts.

 

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Contact: Valerie Hawley, Jayhawk Global, 785-864-3804, [email protected]

KU Doctor of Education degrees in educational administration, higher education administration now offered online

 

LAWRENCE — At the University of Kansas, Jayhawks recognize how family and work commitments, health or mobility limitations, and other responsibilities can create barriers to education and career advancement. With the goal of creating degree programs that are accessible to everyone with the ambition to succeed, KU’s educational leadership & policy studies Doctor of Education degree (available with a concentration in either higher education administration or educational administration) is now 100% online.

 

These doctoral programs are offered through the KU School of Education & Human Sciences, which was recently ranked No. 10 in the nation on U.S. News & World Report’s list of best public education schools. KU’s online courses are taught by the same highly regarded faculty and expert instructors and meet the same rigorous educational standards as its on-campus programs — but they offer more flexibility for students to study whenever and wherever is most convenient.

“Offering a fully online doctoral degree at KU has led to great introspection on the part of the faculty as we have engaged in backwards design to determine what it is that is essential to the degree,” said Lisa Wolf-Wendel, Roy A. Roberts University Distinguished Professor and interim chair of the Department of Educational Leadership & Policy Studies. “We believe that this move to fully online doctoral courses with synchronous sessions will best serve our target students — working professionals with experience in the field.”

The U.S. Census Bureau predicts 7% job growth in the coming years as the demand for educational administration increases. To meet this growing need, KU’s online Ed.D. in educational administration is designed to help PK-12 educators and professionals advance in their careers as district-level leaders — including superintendents; director-level administrators in special education, curriculum, human resources, or business; and policy, consultancy or professional educational specialists.

Likewise, KU’s online Ed.D. in higher education prepares individuals in entry- and mid-level administrative positions in colleges, universities and related nonprofits to advance in their careers as leaders in a wide range of areas, including student affairs, student support services, institutional research, admissions and fundraising. Some graduates have gone on to be deans, vice presidents and college presidents.

Through Jayhawk Global, the university’s education innovation center, KU plans to offer more online degree opportunities, giving more students the chance to earn a globally recognized degree that signals prestige, quality and career readiness.

 

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KU News Service

1450 Jayhawk Blvd.

Lawrence KS 66045

Phone: 785-864-3256

Fax: 785-864-3339

[email protected]

http://www.news.ku.edu

 

Erinn Barcomb-Peterson, director of news and media relations, [email protected]

 

Today’s News is a free service from the Office of Public Affairs

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