New articles: Journalism students’ views

Recently, two further articles from our international study of journalism students were published. The first, published in Journalism Studies, explores dimensions of pre-professional views, and compares these across seven countries. The second is an extension of the dimensions developed and explores the role of motivations, education and gender in forming these views. Below are the abstracts, and links to articles. Most of my articles are now also available in their accepted version through QUT ePrints – please see the links in my list of publications.

The Pre-Socialization of Future Journalists: An examination of journalism students’ professional views in seven countries

Authors: Claudia Mellado, Folker Hanusch, María Luisa Humanes, Sergio Roses, Fábio Pereira, Lyuba Yez, Salvador De León, Mireya Márquez, Federico Subervi & Vinzenz Wyss

rjos20.v015.i03.coverWhile the role of university journalism education in the professionalization of journalists has been extensively debated, systematic and comparative studies of journalism students are still scarce. This paper reports the findings from a comparative study of journalism students in seven countries: Australia, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Spain, Switzerland, and the United States. The data show a number of similarities, but also important differences between pre-professional cultures in journalism around the world. The findings are in line with recent conceptualizations of media systems, although some variations and particularities are observed at the country level. While students in all countries reject a loyal approach and favor a citizen-oriented role, they also do so to different extents. Brazilian and Chilean students believe in the citizen-oriented and watchdog roles, whereas their counterparts in Australia, Switzerland, and the United States favor the consumer-oriented approach to a greater extent. Mexican and Spanish students, on the other hand, while supporting the citizen-oriented role, reject the loyal role comparatively less than the rest of the countries.

Click here for the publisher’s version.

Journalism Students’ Professional Views in Eight Countries: The Role of Motivations, Education, and Gender 

Authors: Folker Hanusch and Claudia MelladoIJoC image

The global trend toward university-based journalism education has led to a growing scrutiny of students’ experiences at university and the extent to which professional views may be shaped there. Three main influences have been identified in the literature: students’ preferences for certain news beats, their gender, and students’ stage of progression in a journalism program. Typically, however, analyses have focused on only one potential influence within one particular country at a time. Arguing that a comparative approach is needed, this article examines potential influences on journalism students’ role perceptions across eight countries. Results suggest that students’ motivations, and the amount of time they have spent in a program, play a part in influencing their professional views while gender has little influence.

The full articles is available free online here.

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Changing workplaces

On 1 February 2014, I commenced a new position as Vice-Chancellor’s Research Fellow at Queensland University of Technology. It’s a very exciting opportunity for me to continue and expand my research into changes in journalism culture. The title of the project: “Digital technologies in news media and the transformation of Australian journalism culture”. Over the coming three years I will be interviewing journalists around the country about the way in which digital technologies are impacting on their work, with a particular focus on changes to consumer- and citizen-oriented approaches. I will also conduct a content analysis of Australian news media. Watch this space for more information soon. Please note that my new contact email is: folker.hanusch(at)

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New article: Dimensions of Indigenous journalism culture: Exploring Māori news-making in Aotearoa New Zealand

JournalismMy first article from my study of Māori journalists has been published online first by the journal Journalism: Theory, Practice & Criticism. It looks at the presence of a number of dimensions of Indigenous journalism culture which are present in Aotearoa New Zealand. The abstract states:

Indigenous news media have experienced significant growth across the globe in recent years, but they have received only limited attention in mainstream society or the journalism and communication research community. Yet, Indigenous journalism is playing an arguably increasingly important role in contributing to Indigenous politics and identities, and is worthy of closer analysis. Using in-depth interviews, this article provides an overview of the main dimensions of Indigenous journalism as they can be found in the journalism culture of Māori journalists in Aotearoa New Zealand. It argues that Māori journalists see their role as providing a counter-narrative to mainstream media reporting and as contributing to Indigenous empowerment and revitalization of their language. At the same time, they view themselves as watchdogs, albeit within a culturally specific framework that has its own constraints. The article argues that the identified dimensions are reflective of evidence on Indigenous journalism from across the globe.

The article link is here.

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New article: Sensationalizing death? Graphic disaster images in the tabloid and broadsheet press

F1_mediumMy new article on the visual coverage of the 2010 Haiti earthquake in tabloid and broadsheet newspapers in eight Western European and North American countries has been published online by the European Journal of Communication. Here is the abstract:

Debates over the extent of graphic imagery of death in newspapers often suffer from generalized assertions that are based on inadequate or incomplete empirical evidence. Newspapers are believed to display death in very graphic ways, with particularly the tabloid press assumedly leading a race to the bottom. This article reports the results of a study of tabloid and broadsheet images of death from the 2010 Haiti earthquake in eight Western European and North American newspapers. It shows that, far from omnipresent, graphic images of death are relatively rare. While tabloids overall display a larger percentage of graphic images, this was not the case everywhere, with particularly the UK, Canada and the US displaying strong similarities between tabloids and broadsheets. In Austria, Germany, Norway and Switzerland, on the other hand, there were distinct differences between the two types. The article argues that different extents of tabloidization may account for these differences.

The article can be accessed here.

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New Project: Journalistic Role Performance

Recently, I joined a network led by my colleague Claudia Mellado at the University of Santiago in Chile, which will examine whether journalists’ professional views and role perception actually matter much in the content they produce. The project, called Journalistic Role Performance around the Globe, will be conducted in 25 very diverse countries, and promises to yield some unique insights into journalistic practices.

I will be conducting the fieldwork in Australia,which will include a content analysis of four newspapers, and subsequent surveys with the journalists who produced that content. The study was recently awarded a small grant of $6000 through the Journalism Education Association of Australia Grants for Excellence in Journalism Research.

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More results from the study of Australian journalists

It seems the first article about my recent study of Australian journalists on The Conversation caused quite a stir, in particular in terms of the results about journalists’ voting intentions. The study ended up on the front page of The Australian, and I did quite a few radio interviews as well as one on Sky News’ Viewpoint program. It was also re-published by Mumbrella and Fairfax Media websites.

Meanwhile, I released results relating to the gender distribution in Australian journalism, which show that women are now in a majority, but are still under-represented in senior positions, and are typically paid less than men for the same work. That article is here. It was also covered in the media section of The Australian here.

Here are some links to the media coverage following publication of the first article:

Front page article in The Australian on 21 May 2013

An interview with ABC Radio National’s Drive program on 21 May 2013

A radio interview with ABC Sunshine Coast on 22 May 2013

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New book out now: Lifestyle Journalism

9780415827522A 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.

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First results from study of Australian journalists

Here’s a link to an article I have written about some of the results from the first representative study of Australian journalists in 20 years. The piece was published on The Conversation:

An academic article on the results will be appearing in the June issue of the Australian Journalism Review.

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New article: Australian journalism students’ motivations

The Australian Journalism Review recently published an article of mine on journalism students’ motivations. The article is called “Australian journalism students’ motivations and job expectations: Evidence from a survey across six universities”. Here’s the abstract:

The value of tertiary journalism education is an often hotly-debated topic among journalism educators and in the industry. Yet, the voices of students are often not heard in these debates. For example, we know relatively little about why young people actually decide to study journalism, what area of journalism they want to work in and what they are looking for in a job. To shed more light on the student perspective, this paper reports on a survey of 320 undergraduate journalism students at six Australian universities. The results show that only a minority actually want to work in news journalism, while most prefer entertainment-focussed areas. Students are motivated mainly by a love for writing and because they like journalism as a profession. In terms of job characteristics, they are particularly interested in their own career progression, but also in the extent to which they can provide a public service.

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New article: Journalism students’ professional views

Media International Australia has published an article from my study on Australian journalism students. Unfortunately it’s not directly accessible online, but here is the  abstract:mia-146

Long-running debates over the value of university-based journalism education have suffered from a lack of empirical foundation, leading to a wide range of assertions both from those who see journalism education playing a crucial role in moulding future journalists and those who do not. Based on a survey of 320 Australian journalism students from six universities across the country, this study provides an account of the professional views these future journalists hold. Findings show that students hold broadly similar priorities in their role perceptions, albeit to different intensities from working journalists. The results point to a relationship between journalism education and the way in which students’ views of journalism’s watchdog role and its market orientation change over the course of their degree – to the extent that, once they are near completion of their degree, students have been moulded in the image of industry professionals.

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