Journalists' Professional Identity: A Resource to Cope with Uncertainty?
The Internet, Social Media in particular, brought far-reaching change to journalism, asking journalists' traditional role concepts into question. In this paper, we introduce Social Identity Theory as an alternative perspective to research journalistic role change, and propose a qualitative approach to study journalists' professional identity and relate it to their interpretation of change in the newsroom. We interviewed 26 journalists of a daily newspaper and investigated their professional self-concept. We identified a group of elitist journalists who act on traditional role scripts and feel threatened by online journalism and related principles. They see status and quality journalism endangered. A second group of service-and user-oriented journalists strives for the improvement of online journalism but lacks shared values and adapted role scripts. The paper shows the reciprocal interaction between journalists' activities and professional role concepts and affirms the question, if professional identity can serve as a resource to cope with uncertainty.
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Proceedings of the 65th Annual Conference of the International Communication Association (ICA), 21-25 May 2015, San Juan, Puerto Rico
International Communication Association (ICA)
65th Annual Conference of the International Communication Association (ICA) 2015
San Juan, Puerto Rico