New media and journalism: implications for autonomous practice within traditional constraints

Bivens, Rena K. (2008) New media and journalism: implications for autonomous practice within traditional constraints. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

Full text available as:
[thumbnail of 2008BivensPhD.pdf] PDF
Download (2MB)
Printed Thesis Information:


This is a study of news production by eight major news organisations in the UK and Canada. Through observation of daily routines and semi-structured interviews, 124 journalists were included in the final sample. The overall aim of this research was to explore the interrelationships between new technologies, the potential autonomy accessible by journalists and the structure of constraints under which they operate. The news marketplace has become congested while audiences have fragmented and public news-producing behaviours have soared, facilitated through the ubiquity of new media. These developments were crucial to the analysis of mainstream news production within a media environment that has left news organisations struggling to retain audiences and their own credibility. New technologies adopted by news organisations have altered routines both within newsrooms and out in the field. News values have shifted towards ‘live’ coverage while workflow has been improved and convergence become the norm. At the same time, new media available within the public realm – including the internet, online publishing tools and advanced mobile phone technologies – are also available to individual journalists. However, it is those journalists already familiar with technology who are more likely to incorporate them into their own daily routines, along with the wider range of sources now available within the information producing strata of society.

Research findings relate to the specific locations in the news production process at which new technologies, journalistic autonomy and constraining factors have the most impact. For this purpose, a model was developed along with an autonomy-constraint ratio. Key findings are that the transmission phase of news production presents the least amount of autonomy for journalists while the newsgathering phase offers the greatest amount of autonomy. Due to the temporal and theoretical limits of previous research frameworks, an autonomy-centred approach is proposed as a means of complementing the existing constraints-based approaches that have tended to dominate news production studies.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: autonomy, citizen journalism, immediacy, new media, news production, user generated content, journalism, television news, Canada, UK, exposuregate, new technology, news values, constraints
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1990 Broadcasting
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences
Supervisor's Name: Philo, Prof. Greg
Date of Award: 2008
Depositing User: Dr. Rena K. Bivens
Unique ID: glathesis:2008-342
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 23 Jul 2008
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2018 14:15

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year