Shifting Norms: A Grounded Theory
Approach to Examining Economic
Effects on Journalistic Public Service in
21st Century Ne...
Objectives
 Describe the problem
 Justification of the study
 Methodological approach
 Future research agenda
Statement of the Problem
Audiences shifting online – challenges & opportunities
Challenges:
 Changing business model
 Lo...
Statement of the Problem
Audiences shifting online – challenges & opportunities
Opportunities:
 Changing audience relatio...
Purpose Statement:
To determine how the public
service norms of journalists,
and consequently the
definition of news, are
...
Why Public Service?
 Public service guides the definition and practice of
news
 News is produced & shaped by journalists...
Shifting Norms
Objectivity
Independence
Truth-telling
Transparency
Fostering Participation
Immediacy
Research Questions
RQ1: How has the shift from long-term print economic goals (boosting
circulation) to short-term online ...
Theoretical Suppositions
 Print- and online-focused newsrooms may differ in their
embrace of public service norms based o...
Methodological Approach
 Qualitative study
 Public service has neither been defined nor examined
 Previous studies are ...
Future Research Agenda
 Develop a quantitative questionnaire to test substantive
theory
 Look for prioritizations of nor...
Questions?
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Research presentation

  1. 1. Shifting Norms: A Grounded Theory Approach to Examining Economic Effects on Journalistic Public Service in 21st Century Newsrooms By Jennifer Brannock Cox University of Florida
  2. 2. Objectives  Describe the problem  Justification of the study  Methodological approach  Future research agenda
  3. 3. Statement of the Problem Audiences shifting online – challenges & opportunities Challenges:  Changing business model  Long-term goals -------> Short-term goals  Changing news motives  Changing news definitions
  4. 4. Statement of the Problem Audiences shifting online – challenges & opportunities Opportunities:  Changing audience relationships  Independence -------> Interactivity  Changing audience expectations  Changing news definitions
  5. 5. Purpose Statement: To determine how the public service norms of journalists, and consequently the definition of news, are changing as newspaper journalism shifts online.
  6. 6. Why Public Service?  Public service guides the definition and practice of news  News is produced & shaped by journalists  Journalists are influenced by news organizations  News organizations guide journalistic values  Journalists justify and define themselves through public service commitment
  7. 7. Shifting Norms Objectivity Independence Truth-telling Transparency Fostering Participation Immediacy
  8. 8. Research Questions RQ1: How has the shift from long-term print economic goals (boosting circulation) to short-term online economic goals (boosting page views) changed the way news is defined? RQ2: How has the availability of interactive features on news websites affected the way journalists relate with their audiences? RQ3: How has the immediacy of the Internet affected work expectations in the newsroom? RQ4: To what extent has the shift to online news affected the public service norms embraced in newsrooms? RQ5: In what ways do journalists in print-focused newsrooms differ from those in online-focused newsrooms regarding the adoption of public service norms?
  9. 9. Theoretical Suppositions  Print- and online-focused newsrooms may differ in their embrace of public service norms based on organizational socialization theory  Newcomers in organizations are socialized to work and think similarly to colleagues  In newsrooms, policies are covertly communicated  Resocialization occurs at departure; difficult when culture remains the same
  10. 10. Methodological Approach  Qualitative study  Public service has neither been defined nor examined  Previous studies are normative  Need to present a fully-detailed view of topic  In-depth interviews & site visits  Grounded Theory approach  Goal is to develop substantive-level theory  Begin with first interview and build from there  Open, axial, and selective coding for data analysis
  11. 11. Future Research Agenda  Develop a quantitative questionnaire to test substantive theory  Look for prioritizations of norms based on newsroom type  Case studies of news organizations mid-transition  Plans to publish in peer-reviewed journals and professional publications  Collaboration with colleagues regarding specific norms
  12. 12. Questions?

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