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Impact of Age Diversity: A Review of a Newspaper Article

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A tremendous burden falls upon the shoulders of the members of the media. At the same time, they present information to the society as they can reach people of different social, cultural, and economic background through print, television, radio or even the Internet as modes of communication. They disseminate facts and make known existing issues and knowledge that are likely to affect all aspects of daily living. However, people involved in the news media — such that of the newspapers, radio and television newscasts, and alike — are charged with a more complicated responsibility in reporting the day-to-day account of events happening in the surrounding in an objective, unbiased approach. As they broadcast information, they do not only consider what the headlines are all about, but they should also appraise what is already known about the story, its objectivity, the use of language in reporting it, the characteristics of the listeners, viewers, or readers, among others.

Impact of Age Diversity A Review of a Newspaper Article

This article will evaluate Snowdon’s article published in Guardian.co.uk about its objectivity, language, the author’s opinions, the perspectives presented, its effects and importance to its readers, and others, as it tackles a relevant issue affecting the labour sector of the United Kingdom. “Xerox has launched the recycling and conversion of end-of-life goods initiative for Xerox Corporation Equipment Remanufacture and Parts Reuse” (Kotler & Armstrong, pp. 187-189, 2010). In this way, Xerox avoids the disposal of more than 120 million pounds of discarded products, saves resources to manufacture new ones, and also saves the company’s costs. For 40 hours per year, Timberlake offers his employee a paid leave to do volunteer work. Somewhat understandably, the order of the day is becoming social marketing (Kotler, Roberto & Lee, pp. 163-168, 2002).

Article Analysis

The age of the employees is regarded as a good determinant of their job efficiency. Some employers choose the old ones for their experience-based abilities. In contrast, others select the younger ones for their versatility and other features. These conclusions are based on a variety of research results that point out how employees of particular age groups readily respond to organizational changes ( e.g., technology, roles and responsibilities, etc.) while others can or do not (Morris & Venkatesh, 2000; Morris, Venkatesh, & Ackerman, 2005).

Other studies also indicate that the age of an employee can tell employers his or her likely rate of productivity. In particular, research groups have previously suggested that employees’ valuable attitudes and behaviours decline as one age (Ferris, et al., 1985; McEvoy & Cascio, 1989; Salthouse & Babcock, 1991; Lawrence, 1988); others, on the other hand, can not particularly point out concrete evidence of the existence of such relationships in “different employee age categories” (Duncan & Loretto, 1988). Nevertheless, age discrimination was unavoidable due to previous perceptions related to these (Ferris & King, 1992; Issacharoff & Harris, 1997; Taylor & Walker, 1997); placing the welfare of the workforce members — particularly the old ones — in line while demanding more reorganization and adoption of management from those with higher roles in the workplace.

When such dilemmas coexist, it is then appropriate to consider many factors that affect the overall performance of the workforce as well as the management of the company and are also influenced by the effects of the age of the employees. “It is especially true because, after nine years, an unforeseen change in the age of the workforce is to be expected; that is, by 2020, more than 30 per cent of the members of the UK workforce” will be over 50 “(Snowdon, 2010).

It was noted in Snowdon’s article that the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) stated in a study that most managers in UK labour organizations are still unprepared for this transition. Although the author seems to lack the efficiency of adequately addressing the audience that he intends to tap with his article, it is without a doubt that Snowdon’s report can inform its readers about the progression of preparedness — or, instead, “unpreparedness” — of the managers to the emerging trend of an ageing workforce in just less than a decade. Nevertheless, proper authorities such as employers’ organizations, the legislative body of the government that can make amendments on the current and impending labour situation, even the workers’ organizations, among others, should have been particularly petitioned and asked for their side of the story as the issue on the ageing workforce is laid out for discussion.

Moreover, it must be noted that the acknowledgement of this labour situation through reading reports like Snowdon’s is not as active an effort to actualizing changes in the workforce to benefit, instead of suffering from its disadvantages, from the consequences of the issue threatening this relevant sector of the society. Further efforts (e.g., formulation of relative public policy, management and organization changes in all levels of employment, etc.) are necessary to prepare the labour sector for the shift in one of the most important demographic characteristics of the workforce — the age — as this can result to future unmanageable events that can result to the downfall of business corporations in the region. This is an unlikely consequence to both private and public offices as this will not only affect business stability and profitability but, most importantly, will eventually affect the local and national economy as they are directly proportional to each other (Bellin, 2002) if anticipation and proper planning within, outside, and between involved organizations of the labour sector of the society with such trend of diversity will not be considered as early as it should be.

In another context, it must also be noted that as the author informs the public of this issue, Snowdon was able to maintain an objective approach in presenting and analyzing what other data must be submitted to emphasize the importance of the issue at hand. The value of objectivity and honesty will help media men to build a trustful and reliable relationship with their users (Gupta, 1999). Yet, as it was cited earlier, Snowdon’s effort lack in terms of specifying every close detail that should have been made known to let his readers understand all the sides of the story. It gives the impression that the author has already assumed for the knowledge of his readers; that, for him, his readers already know all the angles, the consequences, the importance, and the implications of the situation presented. Despite the concept of “shared knowledge” known to many members of the media that they assume for its readers, listeners, or viewers (Skank & Brown, 2007), Snowdon should still have not completely done hence, as the topic contains technical subject matters that may not be understood by the general public.

For example, the mention of the organizations such as CMI and CIPD was not accompanied by descriptions of the nature of these organizations and what involvement they have in the issue. Additionally, the presentation of figures as well lack the association of what part of the total labour sector population has participated to the research that the numbers have been extracted from can lead its readers to erroneous interpretations. Equally, the failure of the author to discuss the implications of the “unpreparedness” of the managers of the workplaces, which should have been the point to be answered is also apparent. These essential factors that characterize Snowdon’s newspaper article contribute to its weakness. This lack of accuracy could result in the loss of the article’s integrity in aiming for the standards of a good newspaper article (Jackaway, 1995, p. 47).

Nonetheless, it is clear that as the author provides information about the data that could support his topic which was done well, no personal opinions have been incorporated into it. This is appreciated since while there are newspaper articles that welcome its author’s opinion, a business news article — or all news articles, for that matter — such as the one in question should have “no room for opinion or fiction”; an essential characteristic that reporters must put to mind in composing news articles (Frey & Fisher, 2010, p. 74).

Although, as it has been repeatedly emphasized earlier, Snowdon has failed to present all the different perspectives in the story — especially that of the authorities of the involved government agencies, to mention one — the article is, after all, an illustration of a news item that reports directly and without unnecessary use of words and sentences; grammar and composition also contributed to its overall coherence and readability as a news article which lessens the burden of understanding the technicalities of the issues in business organizations that exist in the written report (Trask, 1999, p. 39-40).

Whereas, the format of reporting and the emphasis rendered in distinguishing personalities and names of organizations (e.g., CIPD, CIM, ) that Snowdon utilized, anyhow, serve as an aid for readers to identify who and what groups of communities in the society play significant roles in the social and economic issue on hand. At the same time, while legislative bodies and other public agencies in the United Kingdom were underrepresented in this article, it is still undeniable that their role is vital in implementing control among both publicly. Privately-owned corporations to regulate the effects that can be caused by the “unpreparedness” of the business organizations as well as by the new pattern of diversity in the characteristics of the region’s workforce that would sprout out in the coming decade (Kandola & Fullerton, 1998). Relative interventions are needed to protect the welfare of the affected population of workers which, especially in this case, are the old aged (50 and up) employees which also necessitates direct involvement of the affected workers. Initiatives must be formulated so that all the members of the workforce including the top-level employees, the business organizations, and the entire labour sector including the government, will view — according to Penny de Valk as Snowdon quoted — ageing workforce “as an opportunity rather than a threat” (Snowdon, 2010). 

Reflection on the Effect of Age to Managing Diversity in the Workplace

As it was stressed, a variation of age is one of the demographic characteristics that impose differences among the members of a community, including the workplace (Jackson & Alvarez, 1992, p. 24). It has been suggested that this demographic diversity will have an extensive impact on the performances of the members of the workforce as specific age ranges have been associated with particular characteristics. As a result, these characteristics are viewed as determinants to the employees’ performance and productivity as they form part of the workforce.

Since the greying of the workforce is the identified situation that is anticipated to overturn the current stability of the labour sector, it is then imperative that the managers, who are tasked to control such cases, will be able to view this as a factor that can benefit the involved organizations instead of seeing it as a threat.

Although intensive planning and exhaustive efforts are needed from the part of the manager and as well as from the subordinates, this can be done by a manager who can identify the strengths that old-aged workers can bring upon the workforce. This can be done by viewing the length of stay of these workers at the workplace signifies their more developed skills on performing tasked assigned. Longer years spent with a company can also serve as proof that workers’ being seasoned and efficiency in adapting to several changes that have emerged over the years. Characteristics that can aid the whole organization in achieving its goals and objectives as a business establishment. Likewise, it is nevertheless relevant for the managers to inhibit the effects of the negative assumptions that have affected the said population within and outside the organization to negate the existence of age discrimination.

Reflection About the Course

Several issues affect the members of a community that is naturally culturally diverse. Having been able to learn the ways that which cause differences and even conflicts between people of different cultural background which attracted my attention to know more about the course, I have learned that there always will be away from a point which these people can meet to deal with the diversity and leave together in harmony without anyone stepped upon. Interestingly, the course also has helped me on how to identify this point.

While learning this, I have now been able to imagine schemes that can assist me in dealing with diversity issues as I would earn a role with a managing responsibility not only in a business organization but in other settings too. The course has indeed provided my classmates and me not only the idea about how diversity can affect existing conditions in a community but, most importantly, how to work with it to improve them.

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