New articles on Indigenous Journalism

Over the past few months, I have published three more articles on Indigenous journalism. These have appeared in Journalism Studies, Asian Journal of Communication and Media International Australia. Below are the details:

Cultural forces in journalism: The impact of cultural values on Māori journalists’ professional views

rjos20.v015.i03.coverSocial system-level analyses of journalism have tended to focus on political and economic influences, at the expense of other factors, such as the role that culture and cultural values play in shaping journalists’ professional views and practices. This paper identifies cultural values as a particularly fruitful area for providing a more nuanced analysis of journalism culture. It examines this issue in the context of in-depth interviews with 20 Māori journalists from Aotearoa New Zealand. The study finds that Indigenous journalism in that country is strongly influenced by Māori cultural values, such as showing respect to others, following cultural protocols, and making use of culturally-specific language. Cultural limitations are also identified in the form of the social structures of Māori society, and journalists’ strategies in working around these are discussed. The paper highlights the implications a renewed focus on cultural values can have for the study of journalism culture more broadly.

The article is available at the publisher’s website.


Charting a theoretical framework for assessing Indigenous journalism culture

mia-149Indigenous media around the globe have expanded considerably in recent years, a process that has also led to an increase in the number of Indigenous news organisations. Yet, research into Indigenous news and journalism is still rare, with mostly individual case studies having been undertaken in different parts of the globe. Drawing on existing research gathered from a variety of global contexts, this paper theorises five main dimensions which can help us think about and empirically examine Indigenous journalism culture. They include: the empowerment role of Indigenous journalism; the ability to offer a counter-narrative to mainstream media reporting; journalism’s role in language revitalisation; reporting through a culturally appropriate framework; and the watchdog function of Indigenous journalism. These dimensions are discussed in some detail, in an attempt to guide future studies into the structures, roles, practices and products of Indigenous journalism across the globe.

The accepted version is available through QUT ePrints.


Indigenous cultural values and journalism in the Asia-Pacific region: A brief history of Māori journalism

rajc20.v024.i03.coverA number of scholars in the Asia-Pacific region have in recent years pointed to the importance that cultural values play in influencing journalistic practices. The Asian values debate was followed up with empirical studies showing actual differences in news content when comparing Asian and Western journalism. At the same time, such studies have focused on national cultures only. This paper instead examines the issue against the background of an Indigenous culture in the Asia-Pacific region. It explores the way in which cultural values may have played a role in the journalistic practice of Māori journalists in Aotearoa New Zealand over the past nearly 200 years and finds numerous examples that demonstrate the significance of taking cultural values into account. The paper argues that the role played by cultural values is important to examine further, particularly in relation to journalistic practices amongst sub-national news cultures across the Asia-Pacific region.

The full article is available at the publisher’s website.

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New article: The geography of travel journalism

Some years ago, I conducted a content analysis of travel sections in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK. Now, an article based on the results has finally been published, in the International Communication Gazette. Here is the abstract:

F1.mediumWhile the study of foreign news flows has received considerable attention from communication scholars for quite some time, it has typically focused on political or ‘hard’ news, at the expense of other types of journalistic content. This article argues that, as the foreign news hole is shrinking, travel journalism is becoming an increasingly important source of information about foreign countries in the news media. It reports the results of a comparative study of newspaper travel sections in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the UK, and argues that travel journalism often replicates the imbalances found in foreign news flows. Well-known factors – such as regionalism, powerful nations, cultural proximity, the role played by big neighbours and the diversity of coverage – are also powerful determinants in travel journalism. At the same time, a country’s tourist behaviour also plays a role but is often overshadowed by other factors.

The article is available from the publisher’s website. The accepted version is available through QUT ePrints.

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New article: Mediating Orientation and Self-expression in the World of Consumption: Exploring lifestyle journalists’ professional views

An article based on a comparative study of lifestyle journalists in Australia and Germany was recently published in the highly-regarded journal Media, Culture & Society. The article, co-authored with Thomas Hanitzsch, explores lifestyle journalists’ professional views. MCS

Despite having experienced rapid popularity over the past two decades, lifestyle journalism is still somewhat neglected by academic researchers. So far mostly explored as either part of wider lifestyle programming, particularly on television, or in terms of individual sub-fields, such as travel, fashion or food journalism, lifestyle journalism is in need of scholarly analysis particularly in the area of production, based on the increasing importance which the field has in influencing audiences’ ways of life. This study explores the professional views of 89 Australian and German lifestyle journalists through in-depth interviews in order to explore the ways in which they engage in processes of influencing audiences’ self-expression, identities and consumption behaviors. The article argues that through its work, lifestyle journalism is a significant shaper of identities in today’s consumer societies.

The article is available at the publisher’s website. The accepted version is also available through QUT ePrints.

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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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