"The journalism industry is at the stage where staff levels are half of what they were 10 years ago, and as new technology has kicked in, there's more demand on people, which can often lead to physical or mental ill-health," said Paul Holleran, who is responsible for health and safety at the National Union of Journalists (NUJ).
"Stress is probably one of the biggest problems that we deal with as NUJ officials."
Indeed, the rise of social media and digital journalism has meant reporters are now required to grapple with new technology while hitting the same tight deadlines in an often declining workforce.
Holleran explained that although stress is the biggest health and safety issue affecting workers in the media sector, many workforces don't treat it seriously enough, which has led to a rise in depression, anxiety and even suicide within the industry.
Tackling collective newsroom stress levels
"If people are over-worked or over-stressed, it can lead to collective depression in the workplace, which turns people against the employer and leads to further problems in the workplace," he said.
"What we are saying to employers is 'don't demand for people to be more resilient because they will burn out or leave – you need to put a workplace structure in place to make sure that the workload can be covered without damaging people's health.'"
He explained that stress can be difficult to spot, as it can affect an individual or an entire news organisation. Long working hours, a high staff turnover, workloads that are near-impossible to achieve, high levels of absence because of sickness, and an aggressive workplace culture are some of the indicators that the National Union of Journalists advises could imply there is a problem.
So what can publishers do to ensure they are tackling the issue?
Holleran noted that newsroom bosses can employ management standards for work-related stress, which look at the demands on staff, how much control they have of their own work, the support offered to them, relationships in the office, conflicting roles among employees, and how change is managed.
Don't demand for people to be more resilient because they will burn out or leave – you need to put a workplace structure in place to make sure that the workload can be covered without damaging people's healthPaul Holleran, National Union of Journalists
But the NUJ encourages bosses to contact them to discuss the current structure of their organisation and talk about the practicalities of workforce cuts, the workload on staff and the working environment.
As a result, the union can then put some solutions in place including extra casual cover, or getting people to have staggered hours, for example.
"We take a holistic and collective approach where we are saying to all employers: 'you've now reached a stage where you have a minimal workforce that you can't reduce any further without causing serious damage, both to the product and the individuals who are trying to produce the goods, whether it be magazines, broadcast or newspapers'.
"We've got a positive response so far with employers trying to redeploy people or bring in freelance cover where the gaps are. It doesn't suit employers to have people off sick long-term."
Reducing individual stress levels
For those journalists feeling the pressure individually, in a newsroom that seems to have low levels of stress, how can they make personal changes to ensure they are not over-worked?
Samantha Ettus, author of The Pie Life: A Guilt-Free Recipe for Success and Satisfaction, believes that because smartphones, computers and the internet play a huge role in the way journalists work on a day-to-day basis, this technology may be preventing us from getting the right work-life balance to ensure we thrive in both our professional and private spheres.
"In the age of technology, we are expected to be on all the time, but if you're only working then your life is not in balance, and it's not fulfilling," she said.
"It's unrealistic not to check your emails once at night, but one of the critical keys to having work-life balance is taking yourself away from your phone – turn it off while you're asleep, have few hours a day when you're on-call, and certainly don't allow phones on the table."
We are consumed by the intelligent technology designed to free up our time. But as the news cycle changes so rapidly, how can journalists switch off when their job expects them to keep on top of what's going on in the world?
"The worst thing you can do for your work-life management is to have an unpredictable schedule, but journalism by nature is somewhat unpredictable, so you have to manage your time the best you can," Ettus said.
"For example, know what time you will be leaving work each day, and stick to it. Of course there might be an emergency, breaking new story or tight deadline that would make you change those hours, but on a typical day stick to them – you'll have time for your family, exercise and coffee with friends."
The worst thing you can do for your work-life management is to have an unpredictable schedule, but journalism by nature is somewhat unpredictable, so you have to manage your time the best you canSamantha Ettus, author
But in a constantly evolving journalism industry, many journalists feel the need to work over-time to catch up and stay ahead of the game, explained Cha Tekeli, employee engagement consultant.
"There’s a lot more fear and instability about job security and futures, which leads employees to accept a much larger degree of stress."
Tekeli advised that it's helpful to consider how you can destress each day, whether that is through meditation, breathing exercises, or finding a new hobby.
"It’s vital to find things in life that activate your senses, inspire your creativity, and have you feeling calm and peaceful. It may be music, writing, artistic endeavors, dance, cooking, reading, gardening, hiking, taking a yoga class, working out – there are endless ways to cultivate self-care," she said.
"People are always looking for ways to stop themselves from being a slave to their electronics, particularly in the evening. Replace your habit of sitting on the computer with reading. Try to mindfully do one thing at a time: watch TV and nothing else; eat dinner without watching TV. It’s amazing how you learn to appreciate small things when you give them your complete focus."
But she explained journalists don't necessarily have to completely separate work and home life, as many people have career paths that are "purposeful and fulfilling and reflect personal values and strengths".
"I view this as a much richer way to live your life," she said.
"A very important aspect in life is about connection. Connection in life is not only with others, but also with ourselves. I’m looking for less separation in life overall and much, much more connection."