#研究分享#【媒体记者就业岗位的流失与职业认同的变化】

#研究分享#【媒体记者就业岗位的流失与职业认同的变化】信息社会中,报纸和电视等传统媒体的主导下的传统新闻模式发生了根本性的变化,传统新闻编辑室中的工作岗位也处于明显的转变或者流失之中。本研究讨论澳大利亚的媒体从业者的就业岗位流失问题,以及追问这对他们的职业认同的影响。本文通过对澳大利亚2012至2014年间被解雇的225名记者的调查,调查新闻从业者的身份发生了什么变化。结果发现,职业认同有可能在失业后消失,同时,制度合法性的丧失也可能影响被调查者的媒体实践。研究也指出,新闻职业认同的概念仍然存在复杂的争议。

20150119113247584

Once a Journalist, Always a Journalist?

Merryn Sherwood & Penny O’Donnell

To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.1080/1461670X.2016.1249007

The traditional model of journalism in western societies, dominated by legacy media outlets such as newspapers and television, has undergone fundamental change in the twenty-first century. One consequence has been significant job losses within these newsrooms. As journalists negotiate new employment post-job loss in Australia, this paper asks, how has this impacted on their pro- fessional identity? Drawing on varying conceptualisations of professional identity as a set of values and as a set of work practices, this paper presents data from a survey of 225 journalists who had been laid off between 2012 and 2014 in Australia, to explore whether and how journalists’ professional identity changed after redundancy. The results indicated that professional identity was likely to fade post-job loss, which indicates that identity may be more closely linked to a journalism work context. In addition, the paper found that the loss of institutional legitimacy may also be affecting the respondents’ current journalism practice. Conversely, not all participants who noted their identity was intact still worked as journalists or in journalism. This research has implications for the changing media workforce, as it indicates that notions of journalistic professional identity are still contested and complicated.

KEYWORDS industry restructure; institutional legitimacy; job loss; journalism; media work; professional identity; re-employment

Introduction

Continual media industry restructuring and consequent job loss from legacy news- rooms have increased scholarly interest in the professional identity of journalists. This is a notable development given persistent debate about journalism’s professional standing (Aldridge and Evetts 2003; Waisbord 2013). As Lewis (2012) notes, journalism’s claims to professional status do not rest on conventional definitions of a profession. He states, “it has no monopoly on the training and certification of its workforce, nor the means to prevent others from engaging in its work, and, while it has self-policing mechanisms of ethical codes, its power to enforce compliance is minimal” (843). Instead, the specialised and distinctive nature of work in this occupation has been conceptualised in terms of more open-ended categories, such as journalistic identity, ideology or practice, which figure prominently in current assessments of journalism’s capacity to adapt to its changed circumstances (Allan 2005; Hampton 2010; Waisbord 2013). Our interest here is to consider how journalists’ experiences of job loss and re-employment influence their per- ceptions of journalistic work and professional identity. Our examination of the impact of

industry restructure and job loss in journalism on professional identity draws on the results of a national survey of 225 journalists laid off from Australian newsrooms between 2012 and 2014.

The Changing Professional Identity of Journalism

In Media Work, a landmark study of media professions in a digital age, author Mark Deuze (2007, 100) argues journalism careers and professional identity are in decline as news work is taken over by a multi-skilled array of “media workers” employed on flexible employment contracts. The current paradox of media work is that career professionals are struggling to survive job cuts, industry restructure and new business models when, at the same time, there is an exponential growth in online media platforms, devices, ser- vices, contents and consequent work opportunities (Deuze, Elefante, and Steward 2010).

There is little scholarly consensus, however, on how to interpret changes to journal- ists’ professional identity. On the one hand, the fact that newswork looks nothing like it used to in downsized converging digital newsrooms drives concerns about “de-professio- nalisation” (Bromley 1997). Increasingly, journalistic news values and public-interest agendas are sidelined as editorial decisions are based on Web analytics, monetising press- ures and eyeball-catching clickbait (see Tandoc 2014; Blom and Hansen 2015). Trends such as this give rise to related concerns about the decline of journalistic careers and fading pro- fessional identity (Deuze 2007; Meyers and Davidson 2016; Witschge and Nygren 2009). On the other hand, empirical studies provide evidence of journalists individually and collec- tively pushing back against top-down re-organisation of newsrooms, management- imposed work intensification pressures, job cuts and news commercialisation. In this context, professional identity is variously seen as a source of resistance to change, an incen- tive to adapt to new industry conditions or a resource for coping with uncertainty (Örnebr- ing 2010; O’Donnell, McKnight, and Este 2012; Grubenmann and Meckel 2015).

Witschge and Nygren’s (2009) research on journalism as a “profession under pressure” provides a way forward from this impasse because it integrates the disparate per- spectives. In their analysis, de-professionalisation and pushback are conceptualised as co- existing trends in journalism at a time of great uncertainty and flux: “the defense of the pro- fession from within seems to indicate that journalists are at least not ready to let go of the professional standards” (Witschge and Nygren 2009, 57). We are interested in this paper in whether journalists continue to hold on to their professional values, standards and prac- tices even when they lose their newsroom jobs and are forced to re-make their professional careers.

This study extends research on the future of journalism as a profession under pressure by empirically examining the relationship between changes in journalism work and professional identity from the perspective of laid-off Australian career journalists seeking re-employment. It argues the twin experiences of job loss and job seeking offer a productive vantage point on this dynamic relationship because they prompt journalists to consider not only their own job prospects but also the labour market for journalism skills, the chances of work outside journalism and the implications of these new opportu- nities for professional identity.

Against this volatile and uncertain backdrop, we examine two competing but related conceptualisations of journalistic professional identity that enable us to empirically assess the claims of decline: first, that professionalism largely rests on a common set of ideals and values and, second, that professional identity is more clearly linked to journalists’ work rou- tines and practices. We also want to explore the areas where these two approaches overlap. In the first approach, journalism’s professional identity is defined as an ideology, or common set of ideals and values, found among journalists across the world (Carpentier 2005; Deuze 2005; Hanitzsch 2007). Deuze’s (2005) important attempt to characterise this ideology focuses on five core values: autonomy, immediacy, ethics, objectivity and public service. Objectivity is seen as the least globally relevant and therefore most controversial of these values, especially given its deep association with US journalism (Hampton 2010). Nonetheless, as Carpentier (2005, 199) notes, even when circumstances permit alternative points of professional identification, objectivity remains central to media professionals’ identity, a trend that illustrates both “the rigidity of the hegemonic articulation” and the way it acts as “a self-evident ... frame of reference” (207). Hanitzsch (2007, 369) further explores the question of how journalists frame and understand their work by developing his notion of journalistic culture, which is defined as “a particular set of ideas and practices by which journalists legitimate their role in society and render their work meaningful”. In this view, journalistic culture’s three constituent features are its institutional roles, epistem- ologies and ethical ideologies. Empirical study of the principal dimensions of these three features, namely institutional roles (interventionism, power distance, market orientation), epistemologies (objectivism, and empiricism) and ethical ideologies (relativism and ideal- ism), has revealed variation in journalistic culture across different national media systems (Hanitzsch 2007, 371). The premise inherent in these three models is that individual journal-

ists acquire shared values and identity while working in the industry.
We argue, conversely, for greater consideration of the temporal and spatial character- istics of professional identity, that is, for example, whether and how the intensity of pro- fessional identification varies over time or in relation to workplace setting. In particular, in the context of claims that journalistic careers and professional identity are in decline, we ask if job loss in journalism is linked to loss of confidence in or adherence to the pro- fession’s core values—e.g. autonomy, immediacy, ethics, objectivity, public service (Deuze 2005)—and, if so, whether this loss is remedied by re-employment in the industry. In the second approach, found in more recent work on professionalism in journalism (Lewis 2012; Waisbord 2013; Carlson 2015), the unique nature of journalistic professional identity rests on the structure and logic of journalistic practices or work. Waisbord (2013, 141) rejects the normative model of journalistic ideology and instead argues that pro- fessional identity rests on “jurisdictional control” of news work practices, including the occupation-wide consensus about news values in which “newsiness trumps all other con- siderations”. This argument notes that professionalism in journalism is found not in a set of ideals and values but, rather, in “the frantic fast-paced rhythm of producing information expressly with a very short shelf life [that] is journalism’s distinctive form of knowledge, its unique way of rendering a wealth of complex information into an easily manageable series of events” (136). This conceptualisation is useful because it helps to explain the some- times conflicted nature of news, whereby large parts of the press are devoted to following the latest celebrity or sports news rather than pursuing political news or the watchdog role that is seen as central to normative models of professional identity (137). It also debunks the tacit premise found in values-based models that professional identity is narrowly tied into journalism’s public good function. We argue, conversely, for greater consideration of the diversity of professional identities in journalism associated with the full gamut of journal- istic reporting practices and news formats. We are particularly interested in the current labour market value of journalistic knowledge and work practices, as expressed in the re- employment of laid-off journalists in non-journalism industry sectors, and its implications for the professional identities of the re-employed journalists.

全文来源:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/1461670X.2016.1249007


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