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Journalists' professional identity : a resource to cope with uncertainty?


Grubenmann, Stephanie (2015). Journalists' professional identity : a resource to cope with uncertainty? In: Annual Conference of the International Communication Association (ICA), San Juan, Puerto Rico, 21 May 2015 - 25 May 2015.

Abstract

The Internet, Social Media in particular, brought far-reaching change to journalism, asking journalists’ traditional role concepts into question. In this paper, we introduce Social Identity Theory as an alternative perspective to research journalistic role change, and propose a qualitative approach to study journalists’ professional identity and relate it to their interpre-tation of change in the newsroom. We interviewed 26 journalists of a daily newspaper and investigated their professional self-concept. We identified a group of elitist journalists who act on traditional role scripts and feel threatened by online journalism and related principles. They see status and quality journalism endangered. A second group of service- and user-oriented journalists strives for the improvement of online journalism but lacks shared values and adapted role scripts. The paper shows the reciprocal interaction between journalists’ ac-tivities and professional role concepts and affirms the question, if professional identity can serve as a resource to cope with uncertainty.

The Internet, Social Media in particular, brought far-reaching change to journalism, asking journalists’ traditional role concepts into question. In this paper, we introduce Social Identity Theory as an alternative perspective to research journalistic role change, and propose a qualitative approach to study journalists’ professional identity and relate it to their interpre-tation of change in the newsroom. We interviewed 26 journalists of a daily newspaper and investigated their professional self-concept. We identified a group of elitist journalists who act on traditional role scripts and feel threatened by online journalism and related principles. They see status and quality journalism endangered. A second group of service- and user-oriented journalists strives for the improvement of online journalism but lacks shared values and adapted role scripts. The paper shows the reciprocal interaction between journalists’ ac-tivities and professional role concepts and affirms the question, if professional identity can serve as a resource to cope with uncertainty.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Speech), refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Mass Communication and Media Research
Dewey Decimal Classification:700 Arts
Language:English
Event End Date:25 May 2015
Deposited On:02 Jun 2016 08:08
Last Modified:03 Jun 2016 08:46
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
Related URLs:http://www.zora.uzh.ch/124266/
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-124271

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