Non Technical Session 1

Verica Rupar

School of Communication Studies, Auckland University of Technology


This research presentation will focus on the question how journalism changes when it moves from legacy media to social media. It will pose the question what happens with the ideal of diversity of voices in public domain when journalists move to a social media space? Based on the study “News, politics and diversity” it will discuss journalists’ use of Twitter in the 2014 New Zealand General Election. The study focuses on the ways journalism facilitates spaces for public dialogue by examining the work of selected group of journalists who undertake conventional forms of political reporting and who are keen users of Twitter. The research findings will be analyzed in comparative context and conceptualized in the light of the self-referentiality of journalists.

Alwin Aguirre, PhD

Institute of Culture, Discourse & Communication, Auckland University of Technology

True to form: The ‘look’ of the news in the New Zealand Herald home page and front page

In order to understand the changes brought about by the ‘online revolution’ to the form, discourse, and practice of news, the Institute of Culture, Discourse & Communication takes the New Zealand Herald, the country’s largest daily, as a case study using a sample of parallel online and hard copy news from July-August 2014. For this particular presentation, I investigate the multimodality of the Herald as news site, focusing on the home page and front page of its respective online and print formats as entry points of readers for understanding information about the world and framing ideas about the news as a cultural product. Treating the form of the newspaper not only as a ‘persisting visible structure’ but also ‘the way the medium imagines itself to be and to act’ (Barnhurst & Nerone, 2001), I examine the multi-semiotic elements – layout, typography, colour scheme, graphics, and photographic images – of the two different news platforms. Extending the principles of composition outlined by Kress and van Leeuwen (1998, 2007) and van Leeuwen (2003) in conjunction with the visual grammar of online newspapers initially developed by Knox (2007), I demonstrate how the relationship of the visual and verbal design between print and online news media deploys ideologies of ‘newness’ and ‘nowness’ not only of the specific news items but also of the news organisation itself in response to the technological, economic, and cultural imperatives of the current times. 

Wei Shao

Media and Communication Department, University of Canterbury

Shifting roles and blurring boundaries: the diffusion of management and journalism in networked newspaper newsrooms

This paper explores organisational management of changing journalistic practices, through an ethnographic study in three newspaper newsrooms in Sweden, China and New Zealand. Building on the Resource-Based View (RVB) theory and taking inspiration from Bourdieu’s definition of capital, the paper presents the dynamics of how resources of different types have been allocated and re-allocated in the selected newsrooms to fulfil digital-related strategy, thus illustrating the diffusion of journalism and management in the selected news organizations. Different from related studies which propose new business models for the newspaper industry, this paper calls for a reconsideration of existing resources in newspaper organizations and a deep shift in the mode, behavior, and structure of the management of news production in the newspaper industry.  

It is found that, in the networked news environment, there is an increasing trend that grassroots journalists are enabled with more managerial power. Firstly, the hierarchical, one-directional management mode is no longer appropriate to the networked, multi-platformed way of news production. Secondly, in the process of digitizing each newspaper’s newsroom, the ‘wall’ between journalism and management has been broken down. This is accounted for by a number of attributes of change in news production, including networked, multi-media, information-explosive, and ever-changing ways of news production. Thirdly, media managers are turning their focus from management to coordinating/networking the management of news, data and resources flowing in and out the newsroom to adapt themselves into the networked news environment. Fourthly, it is also shown from the fieldwork data that the social capital of journalists—specifically their local expertise—is a key source of competitive advantage which fits well with the networked news environment.


*Collaborative notes for this session is available here.