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A Taxonomy of Maker Spaces

After a great opening panel at ANZCA 2017 (which I didn't blog because discussion panels are generally too difficult to blog) I'm now in the first paper session, which starts with Pip Shea's paper on maker spaces. She presents a number of case studies from around the world, including the cross-sectarian Temple project from Northern Ireland; these create local civic communication worlds.

Does ABC News Siphon Audiences from Fairfax?

Fairfax CEO Greg Hywood has been busy. His company’s announcement on 3 May 2017 that Fairfax would sack 125 of its newsroom staff led to Sydney Morning Herald and The Age journalists going on strike, at the worst possible time in the Australian political calendar.

Meanwhile, media reports highlighted Hywood’s annual pay of over $7 million – which at a median reported salary for journalists of just over $51,000 would comfortably pay for the total number of staff laid off in Hywood’s announcement.

This is not to say that Hywood does not deserve a CEO-level salary, of course. But in light of the criticism of the job losses at Fairfax, his defence of executive pay levels was tin-eared, to say the least:

We pride ourselves on providing above-market salaries. … We need good people to work at this business. You don’t fix the issues confronting the media business by doing the same thing again and again, and expecting a different result.

2016 Publications Round-Up

We’re already deep into February 2017, but I thought I’d finally put together an overview of what I’ve been up to during the past year, at least as far as research outputs are concerned. It’s been a busy year by any measure, with a number of key projects coming to completion; research publications from some of these are still in production, but here’s what’s already come out.

Evolving Attitudes to Paying for Online News

Finally for this session and for ECREA 2016, Richard Fletcher directs our attention to the question of paying for online news, drawing on a six-country study of online pay models. Such models have been a major concern in the industry for a long time, but have remained elusive; there are also few findings in the research that are consistent across different national media systems.

Social Media Guidelines in Norwegian News Organisations

The next speaker at ECREA 2016 is Karoline Ihlebæk, whose focus is on social media regulations in Norwegian news organisations. These are related to questions of trust, legitimacy, and changing professional ideals: journalistic adoption of social media has at first been unregulated, but news organisations are now increasingly seeking to regulate this to fend off any potential negative implications. This is also a question of power within these organisations. Such power need not always be negative and restrictive, however: it may also be supportive and empowering for journalists.

The (Social) Mediatisation of Journalism

I'm chairing the final session at ECREA 2016, and once more we're talking about the future of journalism. Ulrika Hedman is the first speaker, and she begins by highlighting the increasing amount of social media monitoring that is being done by the early adopters amongst professional journalists. Such journalists are beginning to combine news media logic and social media logic, and this makes their professional activities considerably more complex.

Talking Gatewatching and Journalism at ECREA 2016

Taking a quick break from liveblogging the paper sessions I've seen, I was asked to do a quick interview for the ECREA 2016 YouTube channel – and it's online already. So, here's a quick chat about the future of journalism, and a preview of the themes of my upcoming sequel to the Gatewatching book:

The Disruption of Journalism by Algorithmic News and J-Robots

The next speakers at ECREA 2016 are Marko Milosavljević and Igor Vobić, whose interest is in the emergence of automated journalism and 'j-robots'. Such technologies are gradually emerging into everyday journalistic practices, and the prospect in an industry under stress is that what can be automated will be automated; this creates new tensions for the news industry, however.

Drivers of Innovation in European Public Service Media Organisations

Next up at ECREA 2016 are Annika Sehl and Alessio Cornia, whose focus is on the presence of public service media online. Online news consumption across a range of devices is now very prevalent, but the online reach of public service news is widely divergent across different countries; in many countries public service media have been overtaken by social media platforms as sources of the news, in fact.

How Do Journalists Cover Journalism Innovation?

I missed the first paper of the following ECREA 2016 session (sorry, Helle Sjøvaag), so I'll resume liveblogging with a paper by Colin Porlezza. He notes that change is the only constant in journalism history, but this has become worse recently: many news organisations have gone out of business, and innovation has become a crucial asset for surviving organisations. A variety of small journalistic startups have also emerged to exploit gaps in the market.

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