Marju Himma-Kadakas

Marju Himma-Kadakas

Participant in 2015
Work history 2010 until present: junior researcher at the University of Tartu (research fields: journalism studies, journalism culture, media economy).
2013 until present: senior science editor at Estonian Public Broadcasting.
2008-2013: science reporter at Estonian daily newspaper Postimees.
Study history 2010 until present PhD program of media and communication.
2008-2010 graduate program of journalism, University of Tartu.
2004-2008 undergraduate program of Estonian literature and folklore, University of Tartu.

Phd Projects

2015

How online journalism has influenced the journalistic 'ecosystem': Estonian example

The study of journalism production needs revisiting, as multiple variables that determine how journalistic content was produced, distributed, and consumed, have changed. Though production is just one component of the journalistic ‘ecosystem’, it holds a key position in binding together all the aforementioned. My PhD thesis aims to analyse the influence of online journalism on journalism culture, namely production. The research comprises three theoretical fields: political economy of the media; information processing; journalism as a profession.

Critical political economy refers to approaches that place emphasis on the unequal distribution of power and are critical of arrangements whereby such inequalities are sustained and reproduced (Hardy 2014: 6). The scarcity of resources and the impact of information society change the scene for journalism practice (McChesney, 1998; Küng, Picard&Towse, 2008; Deuze, 2009).

Informationalism in the post-industrial approach is seen as the elevated presence and significance of information, which entails complexity in the information processing. It has been referred as ‘information economy’ (Bell, 1979; Toffler, 1980), but lately more often as ‘network economy’ (Castells, 1996; Bell, 2001; Tonkiss, 2006; Van Dijk, 2006). Therefore the discussion over the core journalistic skills of information processing becomes ever more relevant.

The historical development of the journalistic profession and journalistic text formats has always been related to resources and technological change. The end of 20th century and beginning of the 21st century has challenged the profession in many aspects, including convergence and the many-to-many model of distribution, but also in external factors such as economic recession, and competences of information processing in the context of changed technologies (Høyer&Lauk, 2003; Hanitzsch, 2007; Hanitzsch et al, 2011; Boczkowski, Mitchelstein&Walter, 2011). Therefore analysis of the current situation in journalism culture needs to address journalism on the institutional and organisational level, but also on the individual level as well.

My research is based on the Estonian media market. The change that came with online journalism has transformed both the Estonian journalism practice and the media landscape in various ways similar to many countries in Central and Eastern Europe. Thus, my research is focused on the changing of the Estonian journalistic ‘ecosystem’, but at the same time is comparable to a number of other CEE countries. I have combined quantitative and qualitative methods, and am currently seeking advice on how to incorporate the three theoretical and empirical directions into the comprehensive unit of a PhD thesis.


References:
Bell, D. (1979) The Social framework of the information society. The Computer Age: A twenty Year View. Cambridge: MIT Press, pp. 163-211.

Bell, D. (2001) An Introduction to Cybercultures. London: Routledge.

Boczkowski, P., Mitchelstein, E., Martin Walter. (2010) Convergence Across Divergence: Understanding the Gap in the Online News Choices of Journalists and Consumers in Western Europe and Latin America. Communication Research 2011 38: 376 originally published online 8 December 2010.

Castells, M. (1996/2000) The Rise of the Network Society. Oxford: Blackwell.

Deuze, M. (2009) Media Industries, Work and Life. European Journal of Communication 2009 24: 467.

Hanitzsch, T. (2007). Deconstructing journalism culture: towards a universal theory. Communication Theory, 17(4).

Hanitzsch, T., Hanusch, F., Mellado, C., Anikina, M., Berganza, R., Cangoz, I., ...Yuen, K. W. E. (2011) Mapping journalism cultures across nations: a comparitive study of 18 countries. Journalism Studies, 12(3).

Hardy, J. (2014) Critical Political Economy of the Media: an Introduction. New York: Routledge.

Høyer, S., Lauk, E. (2003) The paradoxes of the journalistic profession: an historical perspective. Nordicom Review 24 (2): 3-18.

Küng, L., Picard, R. & Towse, R. (eds) (2008) The Internet and the Mass Media. London: Sage.

McChesney, R. (1998) The political Economy of Global Communication. Capitalism and the Information Age (eds McChesney, R., et al), New York: Monthly Review Press.

Toffler, A. (1980) The Third Wave. New York: Bantam Books.

Tonkiss, F. (2006) Contemporary Economic Sociology: Globalisation, Production and Inequality. London: Routledge.

Van Dijk, J. (2006) The Network Society, 2nd edn. London: Sage.

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