Associate Professor, University of Iowa

Tag: journalism

How Journalists and the Public Get It Wrong About African Poverty

How Journalists and the Public Get It Wrong About African Poverty

REPOST: This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. Ordinary people’s stories can change the world’s views about Africa We cannot see salary data in the faces of others, but most of us have similar mental images that structure how we […]

New Article: Innovation Clusters & Newsroom Change

New Article: Innovation Clusters & Newsroom Change

The second article from my collaborative newsroom study with Jane Singer, Melissa Tully, and Shawn Harmsen has just been published by Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly. Whereas the first piece looked at job insecurity and newswork, this article uses diffusion of innovations theory to examine the various changes happening in American newsrooms. In Diffusion of Innovations, Roger’s […]

New Article: Precarious Newswork

New Article: Precarious Newswork

In the past few years, Jane SingerShawn HarmsenMelissa Tully and I have been looking into the changing newsroom. If you haven’t noticed, the news industry in the United States has been experiencing tremendous change. The four of us have been exploring how these changes affect those at the front lines of producing news.

Our first manuscript from this project was published online at Journalism Practice. The article “Newswork within a culture of job insecurity: Producing news amidst organizational and industry uncertainty” examines how uncertainty in the industry and at a specific company with a history of layoffs affects the news practices of those who remain behind. In it, we argue that a culture of job insecurity has a limiting effect on newsroom change as those who fear their jobs are in danger are unlikely to risk altering well-understood practices, while many others who perceive job security would rather accommodate than initiate change.

Here’s the abstract:

Rapid change in the news industry and the prevalence of layoffs, buyouts, and closings have led many newsworkers to experience job insecurity and worry about their long-term futures in journalism. Our research uses a case study of employees at an independently owned media company in the United States to explore the various ways newsworkers respond to this culture of job insecurity and how their responses affect efforts to change news practices. Findings demonstrate that those who believe their jobs are at risk are unlikely to change their practices and even some who perceive job security are reticent to initiate change. As a result, the culture of job insecurity in the news industry has a limiting effect on changes to journalism practice.

Featured image courtesy of Poynter.