Journalistic (self)-criticism: Effect of convergence managerial strategies on journalistic representations

Amandine Degand

Abstract


This article addresses the issue of convergence through the lens of journalistic views. How do journalists perceive the organizational innovations that they need on a daily basis? One of the objectives of this research is to evaluate the effect of various managerial strategies (integration, involvement, economic strategies) on journalist representations.
We present the results of an extensive ethnographic survey conducted between the end of 2009 and the beginning of 2010, in 11 newsrooms of French-speaking Belgium. During this survey, 101 interviews with journalists were gathered. We applied a thematic analysis to this extensive empirical material (Paillé and Mucchielli, 2003) and descriptive counts by cross-tabulation with the Nvivo software.
This method shows that some strategic options have managed to improve the consideration of Web teams or weaken some resistance towards collaborative work with the Web. However, whether working online or offline, journalists appear particularly critical in regard to Webjournalism. All of them keep their distance from Web team work, which is overwhelmingly considered unrewarding.
This intense criticism by journalists is interpreted as one of the main drivers of the permanent reshaping of journalism, on two levels. Firstly, criticism is a possible fulcrum for editorial reorganization. It is by taking into account journalistic criticism that the management can establish convergence according to methods that will be judged more balanced by the journalists concerned. Secondly, criticism is a node that allows the issue of identity to be addressed. Once integrated and implemented in a dialog process, criticism indeed allows journalists to rethink and constantly reassess the reasons for their commitment to their profession.

Keywords


managerial strategies, convergence, online journalism, integration, criticism

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.15847/obsOBS632012595