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Media entrepreneurship: alternative paths for media producers

A new type of media professional, with entrepreneurial skills, has emerged in the contemporary media environment in Australia – a professional that is informing the public and disseminating news and information but stretching the boundaries of journalism. These media professionals are engaged in, as Margaret Simons says, “the dissemination of news and views about our world” (2013, p. 13), but they are engaging with newer forms of media to provide these news and views. Flew calls these new forms “information media” (2014, p. 107). This presentation is reporting on a research project that aims to conduct an investigation into these new media professionals.

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Media entrepreneurship: alternative paths for media producers

  1. 1. Dr Janet Fulton PhD (Media and Communication) (UoN) Lecturer in Communication Faculty of Science and IT School of Design, Communication and IT July 9, 2014 MEDIA ENTREPRENEURSHIP: alternative paths for media producers
  2. 2. July 9, 2014 A presentation to ANZCA Conference 2014 | www.newcastle.edu.au 2 INTRODUCTION • New type of media professional – Informing the public – Disseminating news and information – Engaged in “the dissemination of news and views about our world” (Simons, 2013, p. 13). • Changes in the way content is produced and consumed with – Changes in technology – Digitisation of content – Convergence • Who are these producers and how do they work and survive in the digital media landscape?
  3. 3. July 9, 2014 A presentation to ANZCA Conference 2014 | www.newcastle.edu.au 3 INTRODUCTION Research questions • RQ1: How have these new media professionals adapted their skills in production environments? • RQ2: What technologies and software, including SEOs and social media analytics, are deployed by these new media professionals? • RQ3: What are the evolving business models they are using? • RQ4: What are the degrees of success of these new media professionals according to different locations in the media scape?
  4. 4. July 9, 2014 A presentation to ANZCA Conference 2014 | www.newcastle.edu.au 4 INTRODUCTION About the project • Interviewing media producers who are disseminating information by alternative means (not necessarily journalists) • Researching “new media entrepreneurs” (Simons, 2013, p. 9) – Bloggers (including lifestyle and news blogs) – Online magazine producers – Web publishers – Broadcasters • Content analysis of websites
  5. 5. July 9, 2014 A presentation to ANZCA Conference 2014 | www.newcastle.edu.au 5 WHY IS THIS RESEARCH IMPORTANT? • Decline in employment in traditional media forms • Decline in traditional media business models • Increase in employment in areas such as online magazines and websites (Jackson, 2013) • The Web 2.0 environment, which is characterised by such features as interactivity, participation and collaboration, has allowed people outside the mainstream media to engage with an audience, and provide media, via platforms such as blogs (for example, Wordpress), microblogs (Twitter), social networking sites (Facebook) and websites.
  6. 6. July 9, 2014 A presentation to ANZCA Conference 2014 | www.newcastle.edu.au 6 WHY IS THIS RESEARCH IMPORTANT? Skills • How have they adapted their skills? • How have they developed their skills? • How have they learnt the skills? Benefit: Answers to these questions could lead to greater success for new players.
  7. 7. July 9, 2014 A presentation to ANZCA Conference 2014 | www.newcastle.edu.au 7 WHY IS THIS RESEARCH IMPORTANT? Monetising their work • Are the workers “piecing together disparate lumps of work and income” (Ross, 2013, p. 30)? • Are they using subscription, single copy sales, advertising, sponsorship, donations, non-profit funding, free content (Bakker, 2012)? • Internet feature: “[i]nformation is for sharing not for selling. Knowledge is a gift not a commodity” (Barbrook, 2003, p. 91). • This feature describes the conundrum faced by new media professionals. Benefit: Provide valuable insight for startups Provide information for educators to use
  8. 8. July 9, 2014 A presentation to ANZCA Conference 2014 | www.newcastle.edu.au 8 DEFINITIONS Are new media producers journalists? What is a journalist? Zelizer: One who practices the actions of news work (2004, p. 13) ABS: “JOURNALISTS AND RELATED PROFESSIONALS write and edit news reports, commentaries and feature stories for presentation by print or electronic media” (2014, n.p.) Sheridan Burns: “the result of the systematic consideration of information with regard to broad news values refined by the context in which it is collected and disseminated” (2013, p. 33) Knight: “Anyone applying professional practices within recognised codes of ethics will be differentiated from most bloggers” (2008, p. 123)
  9. 9. July 9, 2014 A presentation to ANZCA Conference 2014 | www.newcastle.edu.au 9 DEFINITIONS Citizen journalists? Amateur media? User-created content? Citizen journalism: “is a form of journalism where citizens themselves, rather than (or at the very least in addition to) paid journalists claiming to represent the public interest, are directly engaged in covering, debating, and deliberating on the news” (Bruns, 2008, p. 174) – Could include bloggers, tweeters, photographers, etc. who publish themselves but other definitions (e.g. Outing, 2005) don’t quite fit the parameters of this research Amateur media: “[a]mateurs are usually understood to be uninterested in the business aspect of their activity … amateurs take on the task in their spare time, content to accept no financial reward” (Hamilton, 2013, pp. 178-179) – While there may be some who do it for no or little financial reward, the research participants are expected to do the activity seriously
  10. 10. July 9, 2014 A presentation to ANZCA Conference 2014 | www.newcastle.edu.au 10 DEFINITIONS Citizen journalists? Amateur media? User created content? User-created content (or user-generated content): “defined as: i) content made publicly available over the Internet, ii) which reflects a certain amount of creative effort., and iii) which is created outside of professional routines and practices” (OECD, 2007, p. 4) – Could include bloggers, tweeters, photographers, etc. who publish themselves BUT – “Most user-created content activity is undertaken without the expectation of remuneration or profit” (ibid.) Participants for this research are questioned about the economic viability of their production. There are also different varieties of UCC including working with professionals (e.g. BBC)
  11. 11. July 9, 2014 A presentation to ANZCA Conference 2014 | www.newcastle.edu.au 11 DEFINITIONS Entrepreneurial journalism Entrepreneurial journalism is the latest buzzword in an industry that is facing major challenges – Universities are running courses – Books and other literature are providing information on how to be an entrepreneurial journalist “…combines the skills traditionally associated with freelance journalism with business skills associated with an MBA program, and a preparedness to start one’s own online publishing venture if need be” (Flew, 2014, p. 116) “They are all operating in a space that either is, or strongly overlaps with, what we have traditionally thought of as being the business of journalism - the dissemination of news and views about our world” (Simons, 2013, p. 9)
  12. 12. July 9, 2014 A presentation to ANZCA Conference 2014 | www.newcastle.edu.au 12 CONCLUSION Preliminary stages of research at the moment – Still doing a literature review – Interviewed eight producers so far Value of the project – Useful to media producers starting up their own business – Useful within Communication programs to inform students on how to monetise their work
  13. 13. July 9, 2014 A presentation to ANZCA Conference 2014 | www.newcastle.edu.au 13 BIBLIOGRAPHY Australian Bureau of Statistics 2014, Australian Standard Classification of Occupations (ASCO) Second Edition 1997: Unit group 2534 journalists and related professionals, Australian Bureau of Statistics, http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/Latestproducts/ADDFAFA2ABF9A6D3CA25697E00184D04?opendocum ent - accessed 21.2.14. Bakker, P. 2012, 'Aggregation, content farms and Huffinization: the rise of low-pay and no-pay journalism', Journalism Practice, 6(5-6), pp. 627-637. Barbrook, R. 2003, 'Giving is receiving', Digital Creativity, 14(2), pp. 91-94. Bruns, A. 2005, Some exploratory notes on produsers and produsage, Institute for Distributed Creativity, http://distributedcreativity.typepad.com/idc_texts/2005/11/some_explorator.html - accessed 22.1.11. Bruns, A. 2006, ‘Towards produsage: futures for user-led content production’, paper presented at Cultural Attitudes Towards Communication and Technology, Tartu, Estonia, 28 June - 1 July. http://eprints.qut.edu.au/4863/1/4863_1.pdf - accessed 22.1.11. Bruns, A. 2008, 'The active audience: transforming journalism from gatekeeping to gatewatching', in Making online news: the ethnography of new media production, (Eds) C. Paterson and D. Domingo, Peter Lang, New York, pp. 171- 184. Bruns, A. 2012, 'A chance for diversity? Australian online journalism', in The handbook of global online journalism, (Eds) E. Siapera and A. Vegli, John Wiley & Sons, Malden, Massachussets, pp. 412-428.
  14. 14. July 9, 2014 A presentation to ANZCA Conference 2014 | www.newcastle.edu.au 14 BIBLIOGRAPHY Deuze, M. 2012, 'Journalism and convergence culture', in The Routledge Companion the News and Journalism (Ed) S. Allan, Routledge, Abringdon, Oxon, pp. 267-276. Flew, T. 2014, New media, 4th ed., Oxford University Press, South Melbourne. Fulton, J. and Balnaves, M. 2013, ‘Australia and changes in Western media’, paper presented at Global Networks- Global Divides: Bridging New and Traditional Communication Challenges: Refereed Proceedings of the Australian and New Zealand Communications Association Annual Conference, Australian and New Zealand Communication Association Fremantle, WA, 3-5 July, 2013. http://www.anzca.net/component/docman/doc_download/658-anzca-2013- fulton-and-balnaves.html - accessed 1.1.14. Glaser, M. 2012, 'Journalism and convergence culture', in The Routledge Companion the News and Journalism (Ed) S. Allan, Routledge, Abringdon, Oxon, pp. 578-590. Hamilton, C. 2013, 'Symbolic amateurs: on the discourse of amateurism in contemporary media culture', Cultural Studies Review, 19(1), pp. 177-192. Jackson, S. 2013, 'Job numbers rise despite big cuts at newspapers', The Australian (Media Section), January 28, 2013, http://www.theaustralian.com.au/media/job-numbers-rise-despite-big-cuts-at-newspapers/story-e6frg996- 1226563047933 - accessed 30.4.13. Knight, A. 2008, 'Who is a journalist? :Journalism in the age of blogging', Journalism Studies, 9(1), pp. 117-124.
  15. 15. July 9, 2014 A presentation to ANZCA Conference 2014 | www.newcastle.edu.au 15 BIBLIOGRAPHY Outing, S. 2005, 'The 11 layers of citizen journalism', Poynter Online, pp. 1-13. http://cdn.agilitycms.com/wacc- global/Images/Galleries/RESOURCES/CitizenJournalism/11-Layers-of-Citizen-Journalism-POYNTER2006.pdf - accessed 17.7.12. Ross, A. 2013, 'In search of the lost paycheck', in Digital labor: the Internet as playground and factory, (Ed) T. Scholz, Routledge, New York, pp. 13-32. Sheridan Burns, L. 2013, Understanding journalism, Sage Publications, London. Siapera, E. 2012, Understanding new media, (2nd ed.), SAGE, London. Simons, M. 2013, What's next in journalism?: new-media entrepreneurs tell their stories, Scribe Publications, Brunswick, Victoria. Sirkkunen, E. and Cook, C. 2012, Chasing sustainability on the net, Tampere Research Centre for Journalism, Media and Communication, http://www.journalismfund.eu/sites/default/files/SuBMoJour Study.pdf - accessed 7.3.14. Wunsch-Vincent, S. & Vickery, G., 2007, Participative Web: user-created content, OECD’s Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry, http://www.oecd.org/internet/ieconomy/38393115.pdf - accessed 7.7.14 Zelizer, B. 2004, Taking journalism seriously: news and the academy, Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, California.
  16. 16. A presentation to ANZCA Conference 2014 1 March 2007 CRICOS Provider 00109J | www.newcastle.edu.au DISCUSSION July 9, 2014 A presentation to ANZCA Conference 2014 | www.newcastle.edu.au 16

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