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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Two new edited book projects

Some good news on the book publishing front. Together with Elfriede Fürsich (Boston College and FU Berlin), I will be editing a new book on travel journalism, called Travel Journalism: Exploring Production, Impact and Culture. The book, to be published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2014, will combine the work of scholars from North America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania, providing a global overview of the phenomenon that is travel journalism. It will present a critical discussion of theoretical approaches, in-depth studies on travel journalists, content and impact, as well as ways in which travel journalism can be understood through the lenses of postcolonialism, sustainability and cosmopolitanism. The contributors deal with a wide range of travel journalistic media, including newspapers, magazines, television and online publications, identifying important trends in and challenges for travel journalism research in the intermediate future. I’m very excited to be leading this project together with Elfriede.

In a separate development, a special issue on Lifestyle Journalism, which I recently edited for the journal Journalism Practice, has been selected for publication as a book by Routledge. The book will be out by mid-2013.

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