Matrix Organisation : The design of cross-beat teamwork in newsrooms

Item Type Journal paper
Abstract Confronted by increased internal and external complexity, traditional forms of newswork have reached their limits. Journalistic start-ups, such as Quartz and, form emerging editorial teams around "obsessions" or "phenomena" to gain cross-beat perspectives of complex issues such as climate change, the financial crisis or the refugee crisis. Legacy media experimenting with cross-beat newswork see themselves confronted by challenges arising predominantly from beat structures. Consequently, this paper focuses on an example of cross-beat teamwork at a major Swiss daily newspaper, investigating the journalists' experiences of working in a particular project. Insights from 13 interviews indicate that a matrix organisation is one way to organise cross-beat topic-focused newswork in larger newsrooms. A matrix organisation combines traditional functional hierarchy (i.e. the beat structure) with a project dimension. Based on insights from organisational studies, I compare the known advantages and disadvantages of a matrix organisation with journalists' experiences and derive implications for the introduction and design of a matrix organisation in newsrooms.
Authors Grubenmann, Stephanie
Journal or Publication Title Journalism Practice
Language English
Keywords complexity, cross-beat teamwork, editorial structures, matrix organisation, newswork
Subjects business studies
HSG Classification contribution to scientific community
Refereed No
Date 9 February 2016
Publisher Routledge, Taylor & Francis
Place of Publication Abingdon
Number online first publication
Page Range 1-19
ISSN 1751-2786
ISSN-Digital 1751-2794
Publisher DOI
Depositing User Dr. Stephanie Grubenmann
Date Deposited 10 Feb 2016 13:46
Last Modified 20 Jul 2022 17:27


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Grubenmann, Stephanie (2016) Matrix Organisation : The design of cross-beat teamwork in newsrooms. Journalism Practice, (online first publication). 1-19. ISSN 1751-2786

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