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Title: New media and journalism : implications for autonomous practice within traditional constraints
Author: Bivens, Rena K.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2671 2145
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 2008
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This is a study of news production by eight major news organisations in the UK and Canada. Through observation of daily routines and semi-structured interviews, 124 journalists were included in the final sample. The overall aim of this research was to explore the interrelationships between new technologies, the potential autonomy accessible by journalists and the structure of constraints under which they operate. The news marketplace has become congested while audiences have fragmented and public news-producing behaviours have soared, facilitated through the ubiquity of new media. These developments were crucial to the analysis of mainstream news production within a media environment that has left news organisations struggling to retain audiences and their own credibility. New technologies adopted by news organisations have altered routines both within newsrooms and out in the field. News values have shifted towards ‘live’ coverage while workflow has been improved and convergence become the norm. At the same time, new media available within the public realm – including the internet, online publishing tools and advanced mobile phone technologies – are also available to individual journalists. However, it is those journalists already familiar with technology who are more likely to incorporate them into their own daily routines, along with the wider range of sources now available within the information producing strata of society. Research findings relate to the specific locations in the news production process at which new technologies, journalistic autonomy and constraining factors have the most impact. For this purpose, a model was developed along with an autonomy-constraint ratio. Key findings are that the transmission phase of news production presents the least amount of autonomy for journalists while the newsgathering phase offers the greatest amount of autonomy. Due to the temporal and theoretical limits of previous research frameworks, an autonomy-centred approach is proposed as a means of complementing the existing constraints-based approaches that have tended to dominate news production studies.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HM Sociology ; PN1990 Broadcasting ; H Social Sciences (General)