29 May, 2006

Journalists at Risk in Shanghai

On top of having to worry about being thrown in jail for revealing state secrets — as happened to Shi Tao and Zhao Yan – or on charges of ‘espionage as happened to Ching Cheong, journalists in China have to worry about more mundane concerns.

An alarming report, picked up by Shanghaiist, informs us that journalists in Shanghai have the highest risk of dying an early death from job-related health factors.:

Now take a wild guess: Which occupation is the most dangerous in Shanghai? According to this report (in Chinese) by the Shanghai Evening Post, journalists, corporate managers and scientific researchers are the top ones in danger now.

Why? Xiong Sidong, director of Immunology Institute of Fudan University explains Shanghainese are threatened by a variety of physical ailments and karoshi (guolao si 过劳死 or “death from overwork”). And the three occupations listed above are the most stressful on employees in the city.

According to a recent survey, 79 percent of journalists in the city die between 40-60 years old — the average life span is 45.7 years old! — and another survey by the Chinese Academy of Science shows the average life span for scientific researchers to be 52.23. Some 15.6 percent of them die between the ages 35-54. Also, a survey targeting corporate managers interviewed 3,539 people — the result is not much better. Ninety percent of them think the work pressure is huge, 76 percent think they are nervous at work, and worst, a quarter of those surveyed said they had health problems related to work stress.

CleanersWhile AsiaPundit is deeply concerned that his chosen profession is the most dangerous in his city of residence, he is a touch relieved. AP has been periodically concerned by some of the occupational risks he has seen others take in the city. But upon learning that he is in the most risky profession, he will be more relaxed.

For instance, the next time he sees these window cleaners outside of his 39th floor office — supported by seats of untreated wood — he will no longer have the urge to feel any sympathy.

Instead, AP will now feel comfortable in mocking them for having such easy jobs.

AsiaPundit will now also taunt the construction workers he sees arc welding without protective goggles along Xizang Nan Lu.

Dan, who is also a journalist, should also be more relaxed the next time he gets his air conditioner repaired. It’s not like these guys face the stress of us journalists, corporate managers or researchers.

Note that the study is only limited to urban Shanghai, meaning that journalists should not yet be able to claim that they have more dangerous occupations than coal miners.

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by @ 11:36 am. Filed under China, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia, Media

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