To what extent are newsrooms adapting to the new era of online content and social media management? According to a new study carried out by the International Center for Journalists, many newsrooms are lagging when it comes to new technology and a ‘digital-first’ mindset.
As Mierzejewska and Shaver (2014: 47) note in their article ‘Key Changes Impacting Media Management Research’: ‘the ecology of media industries has evolved in startling and unpredictable directions as a result of technological innovations’. They observe 10 changes within media which affect the way media is being studied. Newspaper editors are not just writing for the paper version anymore, they write for the website and the social channels as well.
However, the ICFJ-study suggests newsrooms are not fully adapting to these media changes. Journalists do not get the training they want (in datajournalism for example) and hardly use social media insights or analytics. Moreover, newsrooms are hardly using technologists or analytics editors to monitor their online success. In short: newsrooms do not keep up with the changing media landscape.
To me this is proof of the tension within written journalism between on the one hand a nostalgic look at the newspaper and on the other the urge to find new ways of distribution and revenue. Or, as Lampel et. al. (2000: 266) put it, the tension to remain loyal to editorial values, but also deal with market economics and a new digital reality. Mierzejewska and Shaver make it appear in their article as if this tension does not exist; as if the media landscape has changed. To me, this landscape is still in flux, it is ever changing and media outlets are still trying to get a hold of this new reality.
Lampel, J., Lant, T. & Shamsie, J. (2011), ‘Balancing act: learning from organizing practices in cultural industries’, Organization Science (vol. 11.3): 263-269.
Mierzejewska, B. & Shaver, D.’, ‘Key Changes Impacting Media Management Research’, International Journal of Media Management (vol. 16) (2014).