Journalism Occupational Behavioral Checklist

Download the JOB-CL Here

Designed for researchers familiar with basic psychometrics, this document aims to explain how to evaluate and use the Journalism Occupational Behavioral Checklist (JOB-CL) in research studies. 

The Journalism Occupational Behavioral Checklist, or JOB-CL (Nelson & Newman, 2010), is a 20-item self-report questionnaire designed to measure characteristics of poor work performance specific to the field of journalism. The JOB-CL includes a range of negative work behaviors and outcomes – including tardiness, exhaustion and missed deadlines – that may have been experienced over a one-month period. They are measured on a Likert scale ranging from 1 (never) to 5 (all of the time).

Use of JOB-CL in Research

Note: Last updated in June 2019

Table 1

Study Questions Answered With JOB-CL



Time frame



Nelson (2011)



Used the JOB-CL to understand the relationship among emotional intelligence, PTSD and occupational dysfunction.





159 US newspaper journalists

Drevo (2017)

Used a shortened version of the JOB-CL to understand the relationship among PTSD, moral injury and occupational dysfunction.



281 journalists


Drevo (2017) used a shortened form of the JOB-CL and extended the original time frame from one month to one year. Drevo (2017) included the following eight questions about types of occupational dysfunction in her study, “Have you…”

  1. Been late for work?
  2. Left earlier than usual?
  3. Had difficulty concentrating on your work?
  4. Felt exhausted at work?
  5. Missed deadlines?
  6. Had co-workers or supervisors ask if something was wrong?
  7. Felt disconnected from colleagues or supervisors?
  8. Felt irritated with colleagues or supervisors?

Psychometric Properties

Reliability. Interrater reliability is demonstrated when different judges of a behavior or trait come to similar conclusions. Nelson’s study (2011) included an examination of the interrater reliability of the JOB-CL.

Seventeen pairs of journalists and editors completed the JOB-CL. Journalists self-reported their own levels of occupational dysfunction, and editors reported on the occupational dysfunction of the journalist they work with. The two reports were then compared. In 13 pairs, the journalists' scores for occupational dysfunction were higher than the scores their editors gave them. In two pairs, the editors' scores were higher than the journalists'. And in the last two pairs, the editors' and journalists' scores were the same. The similarity between the two groups was moderate (r = .42), which is consistent with other research on interrater agreement of performance ratings (Conway & Huffcutt, 1997).

 Internal consistency reliability (e.g., how closely related items are to each other) data available for the JOB-CL is acceptable. Cronbach alpha coefficients range from .77 for the shortened form (Drevo, 2017) to .87 for the full form (Nelson, 2011).

Convergent Validity

Convergent validity is demonstrated when measures of two concepts that are hypothesized to be related are in fact related, such as a person’s organizational skills and their job performance. Drevo (2017) found evidence of convergent validity for the JOB-CL. The JOB-CL was correlated with the two subscales of the workplace deviance scale (Bennett & Robinson, 2000). The subscales measured were:

  • Organizational counterproductive workplace behaviors, such as taking property from work without permission (r = .558, p < .001);
  • Interpersonal counterproductive workplace behaviors, such as cursing someone at work (r = .366, p < .001).


Strengths. First, the JOB-CL is the only measure designed to capture workplace dysfunction specific to journalists. Second, it has adequate psychometric properties, especially in relation to its internal consistency. It has strong convergent validity.

Weaknesses. The interrater reliability is only moderate and was measured using a small sample. The measure has been used in two unpublished dissertations; one article in which it is used is currently under review.  


Note: This measure is in the public domain and its use does not require permission from the original authors. However, if you use the JOB-CL in published research, please alert the Dart Center via our contact page so we can track its use.


Bennett, R. J., & Robinson, S. L. (2000). Development of a measure of workplace deviance. Journal of Applied Psychology85, 349 - 360.

Conway, J. M., & Huffcutt, A. I. (1997). Psychometric properties of multisource performance ratings: A meta-analysis of subordinate, supervisor, peer, and self-ratings. Human Performance, 70(4), 331-360.

Drevo, S. (2017). The war on journalists: Pathways to posttraumatic stress and occupational dysfunction among journalists. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Nelson, S. (2011). Emotional intelligence as a predictor of occupational functioning and probable posttraumatic stress disorder in American journalists.  Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Nelson, S., & Newman, E. (2010). Journalist occupational behaviors checklist (JOB-CL). Unpublished instrument.