Research reveals digital impact on journalists | 5/17/2018 | Staff
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Over 3000 Australian print and broadcast journalists have been made redundant in the past six years. A team of academics is investigating their fates and recording the effects of digital media on the profession.

Recent issues concerning the integrity of Facebook "news" have drawn attention to the risks and influence of unverified "news" stories circulated to billions around the world – coinciding with continued redundancies assailing the journalism profession.

Journalist - Member - Press - Council - Professor

Journalist, member of the Australian Press Council and Professor of Communication at Deakin University, Matthew Ricketson, is leading Deakin's involvement in the "New Beats" project – recording the personal impact of the waves of redundancies that swept across journalism during 2012 and over the succeeding six years. Over 3000 journalists have taken or been forced to take redundancy packages over that time, with redundancies primarily affecting Fairfax, News Corp, Network 10, but also other outlets.

Concerned about the potential impact of this loss of journalistic expertise, Professor Ricketson and colleagues from three other universities, led by Professor Lawrie Zion of La Trobe University, set up a research project to examine what has clearly been a seismic shift in the mainstream news media.

Consequences - Professor - Ricketson - Generation - Talent

"I was concerned at the consequences of this," said Professor Ricketson. "I wanted to document how this affected a generation of journalistic talent and wisdom, and see where it has gone.

"We were interested in whether people who took redundancy packages would reinvent the future of journalism, as more and more traditional jobs have been cut. So far, we have found that a number are engaged in digital start-ups, but less than 50 per cent are back in the field. Some start-ups have worked well and some have fizzled out. Some older journalists have retired, others are working freelance, or in public relations, or academia."

Project - Research - Council

The four-year project is being funded through Australian Research Council...
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