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Media in the News: How Australia’s Media Beat Covered Two Major Journalism Change Events

journal contribution
posted on 05.01.2022, 01:54 by Lawrie ZionLawrie Zion, Merryn SherwoodMerryn Sherwood, P O’Donnell, T Marjoribanks, M Ricketson, A Dodd, M Deuze, Bradley BullerBradley Buller
Abstract:
As the primary mechanism through which journalistic labour is organized within a newsroom, news beats are an important feature of journalistic research. However, within the extensive research that examines beat reporting and its specialties, there is little that examines how the media covers itself—or the media beat. This study explores the media beat in Australia, examining how media covered two major media change events: the loss of jobs at newspaper publisher Fairfax in 2012 and the potential closure of wire service Australian Associated Press (AAP) in 2020. In analysing reporting of change events in journalism through a framework of metajournalistic discourse, and through an analysis of 200 items, this study found that “media beat’ journalists included more information about the adverse effects of job loss and disruption on news supply in 2020 than in 2012. Intermedia competition often shaped coverage, with journalists reporting change in rival media companies. Yet, how “media beat” reporters covered these changes varied in both years. The study also found that stakeholders from within and outside of media contribute to the development of change narratives in journalism by offering robust discussion of the implications of industry transformation for news quality and informed publics.

Funding

We acknowledge the support of the Australian Research Council Linkage Project grant scheme, LP140100341 and our Linkage Project partners, the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and the National Library of Australia. We also acknowledge the support of the Australian Research Council Discovery Project grant scheme, DP150102675.

History

Publication Date

21/04/2021

Journal

Journalism Practice

Article Number

1910983

Pagination

19p.

Publisher

Routledge

ISSN

1751-2786

Rights Statement

The Author reserves all moral rights over the deposited text and must be credited if any re-use occurs. Documents deposited in OPAL are the Open Access versions of outputs published elsewhere. Changes resulting from the publishing process may therefore not be reflected in this document. The final published version may be obtained via the publisher’s DOI. Please note that additional copyright and access restrictions may apply to the published version.

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