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Journalists’ multiskilling in the digital age


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Presentation held at the 2011 Future of Journalism conference.

Published in: News & Politics, Business
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Journalists’ multiskilling in the digital age

  1. 1. JOURNALISTS’ MULTISKILLING IN THE DIGITAL AGE<br />Maurice Vergeer<br />Radboud University Nijmegen<br />the Netherlands<br />Alexander Pleijter<br />University of Groningen<br />the Netherlands<br />Liesbeth Hermans<br />Radboud University Nijmegen<br />the Netherlands<br />
  2. 2. Changes in the field<br />Drastic changes in media industries<br />increased media output<br />Digitization<br />the Internet<br />Mergers<br />Factors important for media industry changes:<br />technological innovations<br />economic pressures<br />Professionalization<br />Striving for increased quality<br />
  3. 3. From convergence to multi-skilling<br />Single mode news organizations transformed to multi-media organizations<br />Converged news organizations affects journalism practice (Avilés & Carvajal, 2008)<br />Different and more skills<br />Production for several platforms simultaneously<br />Production speed increases<br />
  4. 4. Economicnecessity<br />Decliningnumber of newspapersubscriptions<br />“News is for free”<br />
  5. 5. Consequences for journalists’ daily activities<br />More production <br />With less journalists<br />At a much quicker rate<br />Journalist transform from a specialist to generalist<br />
  6. 6. Still…<br />Empirical evidence is lacking<br />Little research on multi-skilling<br />Hardly any longitudinal research<br />
  7. 7. Research Questions<br />What type of activities do journalists carry out?<br />To what degree have these activities increased or decreased over time, in general and specifically for different media types?<br />
  8. 8. Data and measurements<br />
  9. 9. Data<br />Drawn from the membership database of the Dutch Journalism Association (NVJ).<br />2006 (N=643) and 2010 (N=1016)<br />identical measurement instruments in both years<br />
  10. 10. Measurements <br />activities and media platforms, <br />a matrix with one dimension all types of media platforms listed and the other dimension the media activities listed. <br />
  11. 11. Media platforms<br />Broadcasting <br />Public service broadcasting<br />Commercial broadcasting<br />Regional public service broadcasting<br />Local broadcasting<br />
  12. 12. Media platforms<br />Newspaper<br />National newspapers<br />Free dailies<br />Regional newspapers<br />Nondaily newspapers<br />Free door-to-door newspapers<br />
  13. 13. Media platforms<br />Magazines<br />News magazines<br />Special interest magazines<br />Professional magazines<br />Corporate magazines<br />Magazines for associations<br />The Web<br />Journalism websites and weblogs (unrelated to media that are traditionally offline)<br />
  14. 14. Activities<br />writing<br />editing<br />reporting<br />coordinate<br />photo´s/video<br />presenting<br />maintain website<br />
  15. 15. Findings<br />
  16. 16. Most performed activities<br />
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  18. 18. Number of activities performed<br />
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  20. 20. What activities have in- or decreased by media type<br />
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  29. 29. Conclusion <br />Journalists perform multiple activities.<br />About three to four activities<br />Writing, editing and reporting<br />In four years time there is been little change overall<br />But,<br />Considerable changes within different media types<br />Multi-skilling is mostly performed on the web, but less in other media<br />And even slightly decreasing for traditional media<br />
  30. 30. Editing, presenting and reporting has decreased across media types<br />Writing and recording videos and photographing has increased for selected media<br />Maintaining a website has increased across all media<br />
  31. 31. Future research<br />What specific combinations of activities do journalists perform?<br />To what extent is this related to personal and professional background (age, gender, professional education)?<br />