Some recent accepted papers

Further news on the publishing front: In the past few months, I have had four more journal articles accepted. See below for a list with abstracts – I will post more updates and links once the articles are published.

Hanusch, Folker & Uppal, Charu (2015). Combining detached watchdog journalism with development ideals: An exploration of Fijian journalism culture. International Communication Gazette. In press.

Development journalism has been a key focus of discussion among journalism scholars for around half a decade, but most of the attention has been firmly on African and Asian countries. This paper examines the situation on the little-researched island nation of Fiji, which has experienced considerable political instability since independence in 1970. Based on interviews with 77 of the country’s small population of just over 100 journalists, we find that journalism in Fiji exhibits similarities to Western journalism ideals, but also a significant development journalism orientation. A comparison with six other countries from the global South shows that this mix is not unique, and we argue that Western journalism approaches and development ideals are not by necessity mutually exclusive, as has often been argued. In this way, the article aims to contribute to a reassessment of our understanding of development journalism and how journalists in developing societies view their work.

Hanusch, Folker, Hanitzsch, Thomas & Lauerer, Corinna (2015). ‘How much love are you going to give this brand?’ Lifestyle journalists on commercial influences in their work. Journalism: Theory, Practice and Criticism. In press.

The news increasingly provides help, advice, guidance, and information about the management of self and everyday life, in addition to its traditional role in political communication. Yet such forms of journalism are still regularly denigrated in scholarly discussions, as they often deviate from normative ideals. This is particularly true in lifestyle journalism, where few studies have examined the impact of commercial influences. Through in-depth interviews with 89 Australian and German lifestyle journalists, this paper explores the ways in which the lifestyle industries try to shape journalists’ work, and how these journalists deal with these influences in their daily practice. We find that lifestyle journalists are in a constant struggle over the control of editorial content, and their responses to increasing commercial pressures vary between resistance and resignation. This has implications for our understanding of journalism as a whole in that it broadens it beyond traditional conceptualizations associated with political journalism.

Hanusch, Folker (2015). Transformative times: Australian journalists’ perceptions of changes in their work. Media International Australia. In press.

Numerous studies have pointed to the fact that journalism in most industrialised societies is undergoing a particularly intensive period of transformation. Yet, while many scholars have studied how news organisations are changing, comparatively fewer studies have inquired into how journalists themselves are experiencing the changes in their work brought on by the technological, economic and cultural transformations. Based on a representative study of Australian journalists, this paper reports on their perceptions of changes in a variety of influences and aspects of their work over the past five years. It finds that journalists say change has been most notable in audience interactions and technological innovation, while economic changes are somewhat less strong. Importantly, they are also very concerned about an increase in sensationalism and a drop in journalistic standards and the credibility of journalism. Results are also compared across different organisational contexts.

Hanusch, Folker, Clifford, Katrina, Davies, Kayt, English, Peter, Fulton, Janet, Lindgren, Mia, O’Donnell, Penny, Price, Jenna, Richards, Ian & Zion, Lawrie (2015). Australian journalism students’ professional views and news consumption: Results from a representative study. Australian Journalism Review.

Journalism education’s role in shaping students’ professional views has been a topic of interest among scholars for the past decade in particular. Increasing numbers of studies are concerned with examining students’ backgrounds and views in order to identify what role exposure to the tertiary environment may play in socializing them into the industry. This study reports on the results of the largest survey of Australian journalism students undertaken to date, with a sample size of 1884 students. The study finds that time spent studying journalism appears to be related to changes in role perceptions and news consumption. Final-year students are significantly more likely to support journalism’s watchdog role and to reject consumer-oriented and ‘loyal’ roles. They also consume more news than first-year students. On the other hand, journalism education appears to have little impact on views of controversial practices, with only marginal differences between final- and first-year students.

About folkerhanusch

Dr Folker Hanusch is Professor of Journalism at the University of Vienna, Austria.
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