Further results from my survey of Australian journalists have been published in Journalism Studies. This paper compares local and metropolitan journalists’ role perceptions and backgrounds. Here is the abstract:
While a number of scholars have explored the special exigencies of local as opposed to metropolitan journalism, rarely have studies examined such differences in relation to journalism culture as constituted by journalists’ professional views. To address the gap in our knowledge, this study reports results from a representative survey of local and metropolitan newspaper journalists in Australia. Findings suggest that territorial context accounts for some significant differences in journalists’ demographics, as well as their role perceptions. In line with past research, local newspaper journalists exhibit much stronger support for the community forum and advocacy role. At the same time, and contrary to expectations, there is very little difference in their support of the watchdog role compared with metropolitan journalists. By combining questions about journalistic ideals and enactment in their work, and finding differences in the two, this study also has important implications for the methodological development of survey studies.
The full paper can be accessed here.