Practices of Online Journalists: Transformations of Newswork in Print Media
In order to contribute to the broader debate on the reorientation of power and knowledge production in late modern society, this dissertation follows paradigmatic shifts in media on journalism research by theoretically and empirically investigating recent changes in the structures of work and the creation of journalistic content. This is accomplished by focusing on the practices of online journalists to identify the manner of structural impact on journalists in evermore heterogeneous, uncertain, flexible, and individualised labour settings and to reflect on contemporary functions of journalism and its political relevance. To explore the specific patterns in which work is transforming in traditional media, the main goal of this dissertation is to deliver theoretical (re)conceptualisations of interlinked notions of work, technology and identity in contemporary journalism. This results in narrower research goals by providing insights into specific social, cultural and technological arrangements of a work environment, investigating the practices of online journalists within them and analyzing online journalists’ perceptions of the work they do and of their function in society. In order to do this, I plan to analyze the political-economic, social and cultural organisation of journalistic work, borrowing Michael Schudson’s manifold perspective to journalism research. To focus on the dimensions of the specific cases, to compare them, and to contextualise the findings, I plan to use two ethnographic methods: participant observation for a month in each of the selected Slovenian print media organisations and in-depth interviews with the print and online journalists, editors and other journalistic workers from different work environments. In the dissertation, I narrow the research to three case subjects to study the print media, dynamics of work and journalistic practices within them. Delo, Dnevnik, and Žurnal Media are regarded as three of the biggest print media organisations in terms of circulation and readership reach of their daily print newspapers, the number of unique visitors to their news websites, and the number of staff and size of journalistic production. In the last two years, all three organisations have started to integrate the work environments and to reconsider the role of online journalism in the production process. This makes them challenging research subjects in terms of contemporary transformations of journalistic production and their implications for journalistic practices on all platforms.