Journalists's Professional Identity : A resource to cope with change in the industry?

Item Type Journal paper
Abstract The internet, and particularly social media, have brought far-reaching change to journalism by calling into question how journalists' traditional roles are perceived. We introduce social identity theory-specifically the concept of professional identity-as a complementary approach to study journalistic role conceptions from a dynamic perspective. Building on existing findings in both research streams (professional identity and journalistic role conceptions), we undertook a qualitative study to explore the interplay between journalists' role perceptions, the core values of journalism, and ongoing change in the industry. Our analysis of 26 interviews conducted in a Swiss newsroom provided an affirmative answer to the question whether journalists' professional identity serves as a resource that helps them to cope with uncertainty. By identifying different identity negotiation mechanisms, we illustrate journalists' sensemaking of developments in their work environment. We show that journalists who rely on an elitist, traditional role concept construct online journalism as a threat to quality journalism and journalists' personal status. Another group of journalists with more service-oriented and solutions-oriented role concepts strives to improve a newspaper's online journalism. These journalists engage in creating new, adapted role scripts and value definitions.
Authors Grubenmann, Stephanie & Meckel, Miriam
Journal or Publication Title Journalism Studies
Language English
Keywords change, convergence, journalistic role conception, online journalism, profession, professional identity, role scripts, values
Subjects social sciences
HSG Classification contribution to scientific community
Refereed Yes
Date 2015
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Place of Publication Abingdon
Volume 18
Number 6
Page Range 732-748
Number of Pages 17
ISSN 1461-670x
ISSN-Digital 1469-9699
Publisher DOI
Depositing User Dr. Stephanie Grubenmann
Date Deposited 03 Dec 2015 10:16
Last Modified 20 Jul 2022 17:26


Accepted Manuscript_Journalists Professional Identity_Grubenmann & Meckel.pdf

Download (331kB) | Preview


Grubenmann, Stephanie & Meckel, Miriam (2015) Journalists's Professional Identity : A resource to cope with change in the industry? Journalism Studies, 18 (6). 732-748. ISSN 1461-670x

Edit item Edit item