The area of lifestyle journalism as a field for serious academic inquiry is driven by my personal interest in tourism as well as professional experience I gained as a travel agent 15 years ago. I believe that non-news journalistic fields such as lifestyle journalism are increasingly becoming important sites of research into the change away from hard news to more entertainment-based information in the media.
New edited book on Lifestyle Journalism
A special issue which I edited for Journalism Practice on Lifestyle Journalism some time ago is now available in book format. The edited collection is published by Routledge, and can be purchased from the publisher direct, or through bookstores, such as Bookdepository. By making the special issue available as a book, I hope the excellent articles within it will be more widely accessible.
Here’s the blurb from the book cover:
Lifestyle journalism has experienced enormous growth in the media over the past two decades, but scholars in the fields of journalism and communication studies have so far paid relatively little attention to a field that is still sometimes seen as “not real journalism”. There is now an urgent need for in-depth exploration and contextualisation of this field, with its increasing relevance for 21st century consumer cultures.
For the first time, this book presents a wide range of studies which have engaged with the field of lifestyle journalism in order to outline the various political, economic, social and cultural tensions within it. Taking a comparative view, the collection includes studies covering four continents, including countries such as Australia, China, Norway, Denmark, Singapore, the UK and the USA. While keeping the broader lifestyle field in mind, the chapters focus on a variety of sub-fields such as travel, music, food, health, fashion and personal technology journalism. This volume provides a fascinating account of the different facets of lifestyle journalism, and charts the way forward for a more sustained analysis of the field.
This book was originally published as a special issue of Journalism Practice.
Empirical research project into lifestyle journalism
Assisted by funding from the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, Prof Thomas Hanitzsch (University of Munich) and I recently conducted interviews with 89 lifestyle journalists in Australia and Germany. The study examined lifestyle journalists professional views, including their role perceptions, ethical views, changes in the industry, and perceptions of influences on their work. We have presented this work at conferences in Poland and Turkey in 2012, and in early June 2013, our article “Mediating Orientation and Self-expression in the World of Consumption: Exploring lifestyle journalists’ professional views” was published in the journal Media, Culture & Society. A copy of the accepted version is available through the QUT ePrints library here. The published article is available here. A second paper on the study has been published in Journalism, and is available here.
More recently, I have just completed a survey of more than 500 Australian lifestyle journalists to further inquire into their professional views and backgrounds. I will be publishing the results soon.
Work on travel journalism
I have conducted two major projects into specifically travel journalism as a sub-field of lifestyle journalism. In the first project, I surveyed 85 Australian travel journalists to examine their world views, values, role perceptions, standards and attitudes. The second project is a comparative content analysis of newspaper travel sections, which examines 12 newspapers from Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the UK.
Together with Elfriede Fursich (Boston College), I recently edited a book on the topic, called Travel Journalism: Exploring Production, Impact and Culture. The book was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2014.
Here is a list of my publications relating to travel and lifestyle journalism:
Hanusch, Folker. “The geography of travel journalism: Mapping the flow of travel stories about foreign countries.” International Communication Gazette. 76(1): 47-66.
Hanusch, Folker (2012). “A profile of Australian travel journalists’ professional views and ethical standards.” Journalism: Theory, Practice & Criticism, 13(5): 668-686.
Hanusch, Folker (2012). “Travel journalists’ attitudes toward public relations: Findings from a representative survey.” Public Relations Review 38(1), 69-75.
Pan, Steve & Folker Hanusch (2011). “Tourism TV Commercials: A delicate balance between aural and visual information load.” Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing, 28(5): 465-480.
Hanusch, Folker (2011). “Representations of foreign places outside the news: An analysis of Australian newspaper travel sections.” Media International Australia, 138: 21-35.
Hanusch, Folker (2010). “The Dimensions of Travel Journalism: Exploring new fields for journalism research beyond the news.” Journalism Studies, 11(1): 68-82.