Media bullies under the spotlight

National ‘Ban Bullying’ day has been marked by the start of an academic study of the problem in the media industry.

The three-year research programme by the University of Ulster will investigate the prevalence and scope of workplace bullying across all sectors within the media industries.

Anecdotal evidence shows that a bullying problem exists across all sectors of the industry, according to the university’s researchers.

Emily Boyle, head of the university’s Business and Management Research Graduate School, said: “We recognise that bullying is a legitimate workplace issue in the audiovisual sector, yet little is known about the real extent of the problem or the key issues which surround it.

This is an innovative research project, from which we hope to gain a comprehensive picture of the size, scale, and nature of the problem with specific reference to this industry”.

Jan Martin, who will carry out the research, added: “Workplace bullying is a highly complex and poorly understood phenomenon. The core remit of this research project will be to ascertain the scale of the problem across various sectors of the media industry, and to provide a detailed analysis of the key issues from the perspective of both the employer and the employee.”

It is estimated that workplace bullying costs UK employers £1.2bn per year, and that 18 million working days are lost each year as a direct result of workplace bullying.

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