Mentoring in journalism its importance, its challenges and its outlook

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Mentoring in journalism its importance, its challenges and its outlook

  1. 1. Mentoring in journalism: its importance, its challenges and its outlook Dr Janet Fulton PhD (Media and Communication) Lecturer Faculty of Science and IT School of Design, Communication and IT 27 June 2013
  2. 2. June 27, 2013 A presentation to IAMCR Conference 2013 | www.newcastle.edu.au 2 INTRODUCTION Mentoring is one of the ways that journalists learn how to produce, or create, within the system of journalism Mentors communicate: • Work ethics • Professional values • Work strategies and philosophies A lack of experienced staff in an organisation, or overwhelming demands on experienced staff, means that there is less traditional mentoring occurring in workplaces (Mockros, 1996).
  3. 3. A presentation to IAMCR Conference 2013 | www.newcastle.edu.au 3 INTRODUCTION Australian journalism: • Broadcast sector • Channel 10 (FTA) – 100 news journalists laid off • Channel 9 (FTA) – cost-cutting measured announced • Print sector • News Limited – redundancies (unknown number) • Fairfax Media – 1900 jobs What will happen to mentoring in journalism, a part of learning that is an important part of a journalist’s early and ongoing development? June 27, 2013
  4. 4. A presentation to IAMCR Conference 2013 | www.newcastle.edu.au 4 Systems model of creativity developed by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (2003, p. 315) Journalist E.g. rules, procedures, conventions, guides, previous works E.g. sub-editors, other journalists, editors, media owners, chiefs-of- staff, the audience SYSTEMS MODEL OF CREATIVITY: SYSTEM OF JOURNALISM June 27, 2013
  5. 5. June 27, 2013 A presentation to IAMCR Conference 2013 | www.newcastle.edu.au 5 SYSTEMS MODEL OF CREATIVITY: SYSTEM OF JOURNALISM Journalists produce their work within a dynamic of cultural, individual and social influences Mentors are members of the field, typically senior members, and most of the journalists in the study discussed the importance of mentoring in their development as a journalist
  6. 6. June 27, 2013 A presentation to IAMCR Conference 2013 | www.newcastle.edu.au 6 RESEARCH PROJECT Making the news: print journalism and the creative process • Thirty-six journalists (coded as ‘J’) and editors (coded as ‘E’) • Newspapers (24), magazines (10), freelance (2) • 22 x journalists • Journalists (18), cadet journalists (3), student (1) • 14 x management positions • Editor, deputy editor, owner • 17 x females, 19 males • Aged 20 - 62 • Three newsrooms • NR1: community, regional, tri-weekly • NR2: metropolitan, weekly • NR3: community, regional, weekly
  7. 7. June 27, 2013 A presentation to IAMCR Conference 2013 | www.newcastle.edu.au 7 MENTORING IN JOURNALISM Interview question: ‘Have you had a mentor and how did this relationship help you in your work?’ • Overwhelmingly yes • Throughout the interview process and during observations in the chosen newsrooms, mentorship, both formal and informal, was discussed and observed Less senior staff for mentoring is an emerging problem that could affect journalism practice.
  8. 8. June 27, 2013 A presentation to IAMCR Conference 2013 | www.newcastle.edu.au 8 MENTORING IN JOURNALISM Mentors : • Helped in learning how to negotiate the field and domain • Majority of respondents had informal mentoring relationships “I think it’s a really important thing within the profession; I think we could do a lot more of that … And journalists kind of mentor each other because we do talk a lot about stories and stuff. I think it’s a valuable thing and would like to see it done more formally and done better” (J17, i/v, 2008).
  9. 9. June 27, 2013 A presentation to IAMCR Conference 2013 | www.newcastle.edu.au 9 SYSTEM OF JOURNALISM: DOMAIN Mentors communicate domain knowledge: • Domain knowledge: work ethics, professional values, work strategies and philosophies (Mockros, 1996) • Domain knowledge: ethics, best practices and style (WFSJ) “He was absolutely inspirational. I mean, just watching how he worked, watching how he conducted interviews and every so often he’d sit down and he’d give me a mentoring session and watching the, picking up the responsibility with which he conducted his work, how he approached it culturally was inspiring” (J2, i/v, 2007).
  10. 10. June 27, 2013 A presentation to IAMCR Conference 2013 | www.newcastle.edu.au 10 SYSTEM OF JOURNALISM: FIELD Mentors communicate: • Preferences of the field • How to increase social capital • Help to socialise new journalists into a newsroom • How to “be a journalist” (Oakham, 2006, p. 183) “I have had several mentors over the year, my editors and trainers within the organisation. Even today I have several senior people I regard as mentors as I learn the job of editor” (E3, i/v, 2007).
  11. 11. June 27, 2013 A presentation to IAMCR Conference 2013 | www.newcastle.edu.au 11 MENTORING: A WORD FROM THE MENTORS “I have [mentored] because we get quite a few, every year we get work experience people who are doing communications courses at University of New South Wales and UTS, etc. So having been mentored myself I feel as though I’d like to give something back so I do my best to help them and assist them and encourage them, etc.” (E14, i/v, 2008). “I mentor most of my students; anyone who shows promise, willingness and enthusiasm gets my time as a teacher” (E13, i/v, 2008).
  12. 12. June 27, 2013 A presentation to IAMCR Conference 2013 | www.newcastle.edu.au 12 John Trevorrow: “you can’t replace the learning that you do on the job and that comes from the collective experience and wisdom of the people in your newsrooms” (in Press Club Online, 2003). “It’s an interesting situation we’re moving to where we have less and less senior staff; people are staying less and less. I wonder whether if you’ll ever see journalists staying anywhere more than twenty years” (J5, i/v, 2007). MENTORING: A WORD FROM THE MENTORS
  13. 13. June 27, 2013 A presentation to IAMCR Conference 2013 | www.newcastle.edu.au 13 FUTURE OF MENTORING •With the increase in fluidity in journalism’s workforce, mentoring needs to be done outside the workplace rather than the traditional in-house style •Society of Professional Journalists: Facebook mentor page •World Federation of Science journalists, Society of Environmental Journalists have set up mentoring services
  14. 14. June 27, 2013 A presentation to IAMCR Conference 2013 | www.newcastle.edu.au 14 CONCLUSION • Journalism jobs in traditional media are not going to increase in the near future • Do less journalists mean mentoring is unnecessary? • BUT journalism is not dying … delivery platform is changing • In a different work environment, with different rules and procedures to be learnt, mentoring would still be a valuable process • Therefore, in a different work environment, with different rules and procedures to be learnt, mentoring would still be a valuable process
  15. 15. A presentation to IAMCR Conference 2013 | 29 June 2013 CRICOS Provider 00109J | www.newcastle.edu.au DISCUSSION June 27, 2013 A presentation to IAMCR Conference 2013 | www.newcastle.edu.au 15
  16. 16. June 27, 2013 A presentation to IAMCR Conference 2013 | www.newcastle.edu.au 16 Bibliography ACMA 2012, Australia'a progress in the digital economy, Australian Communications and Media Authority, http://www.acma.gov.au/webwr/_assets/main/lib310665/australia%27s progress in the digital economy.pdf - accessed 13.1.13. Background Briefing 1999, Political journalism in the 21st century, Radio National, http://www.abc.net.au/rn/talks/bbing/stories/s44915.htm - accessed 5.1.08. Bailin, S. 1988, Achieving extraordinary ends: an essay on creativity, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Boston. Barker, G. 2010, The crumbling estate, Griffith Review, 25 http://www.griffithreview.com/edition- 25-after-the-crisis/227-essay/675.html?showall=1 - accessed 29.1.11. Burgess, J. and Bruns, A. 2012, '(Not) the Twitter election: the dynamics of the #ausvotes conversation in relation to the Australian media ecology', Jurnalism Practice, 6(3), pp. 384-402. Choudhury, B. and Baines, D. 2012, 'We are the champions: mentors ease newcomers into the net', Ethical Space: The International Journal of Communication Ethics, 9(2/3), pp. http://journals.communicationethics.net/free_article.php?id=00025 - accessed 14.1.13. Csikszentmihalyi, M. 1988, 'Society, culture and person: a systems view of creativity', in The nature of creativity, (Ed) R. Sternberg, Cambridge University Press, New York, pp. 325-338. Csikszentmihalyi, M. 1997, Creativity: flow and the psychology of discovery and invention, 1st ed., HarperCollins, New York.
  17. 17. June 27, 2013 A presentation to IAMCR Conference 2013 | www.newcastle.edu.au 17 Bibliography Csikszentmihalyi, M. 2003, 'Implications of a systems perspective for the study of creativity', in Handbook of creativity, (Ed) R. Sternberg, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 313-335. Cunningham, S. and Flew, T. 2012, 'De-Westernizing Australia? Media systems and cultural coordinates', in De-Westernizing media studies, (Eds) C. James and M.-J. Park, Routledge, Abingdon, pp. 237-249. Deuze, M. 2007, Media work, Polity Press, Cambridge. Doogue, G. and Gawenda, M. 2012, Fairfax redundancies - interview with Michael Gawenda by Geraldine Doogue, RN Saturday Extra, ABC, http://mpegmedia.abc.net.au/rn/podcast/2012/09/sea_20120901_0755.mp3 - accessed 14.1.13. Dwyer, T. and Martin, F. 2010, 'Updating diversity of voice arguments for online news media', Global Media Journal Australian Edition, 4(1), pp. 1-18. http://www.commarts.uws.edu.au/gmjau/v4_2010_1/pdf/dwyer_martin_RA_vol4_iss1_2010.pdf - accessed 10.4.13. Evans, P. and Deehan, G. 1988, The keys to creativity, Grafton, London. Fairfax Media 2013a, Changes to organisational structure and executive leadership team, http://www.asx.com.au/asxpdf/20130404/pdf/42f1lfw5rzspsw.pdf - accessed 1.5.13. Fairfax Media 2013b, Half year results, http://fairfaxmedia.com.au/shareholders/FAIRFAXHalfYearResults.pdf - accessed 13.1.13. Finkelstein, R. 2012, Report of the independent inquiry into the media and media regulation: report to the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Australian
  18. 18. June 27, 2013 A presentation to IAMCR Conference 2013 | www.newcastle.edu.au 18 Bibliography Gyngell, D. 2013, Statement to Nine Entertainment Co staff from CEO David Gyngell, ABC News website, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-01-30/channel-nines-statement-to-staff/4491712 - accessed 10.4.13. Harrison, J. 2006, News, Routledge, London. Hooker, C., Nakamura, J. and Csikszentmihalyi, M. 2003, 'Group as mentor: social capital and the systems model of creativity', in Group creativity: innovation through collaboration, (Eds) P.B. Paulus and B.A. Nijstad, Oxford University Press, New York, pp. 225-244. Huang, T. 2012, The 6 things you learn as a journalism mentor, Poynter, http://www.poynter.org/how-tos/leadership-management/159786/why-becoming-a-mentor-is-one- of-the-most-important-things-we-can-do-as-journalists/ - accessed 13.1.13. Linnell, G. 2012, Editorial newsroom review: staff information pack, Fairfax Media, http://resources.news.com.au/files/2012/06/27/1226409/828527-fairfax-editorial-newsroom- review-staff-information.pdf - accessed 13.1.13. Mockros, C.A. 1996, 'The social context of extraordinary individuals', Advanced Development Journal, 7, pp. 19-38. Negus, K. and Pickering, M. 2004, Creativity, communication and cultural value, Sage Publications, London. Nerone, J. 2013, 'Journalism', in The Handbook of Communication History, (Eds) P. Simonson, J. Peck, R.T. Craig and J.P. Jackson, Routledge, New York, pp. 196-208.
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