From public to private sphere? Changes in the professional orientations of Nordic journalism students 2005-12

TitleFrom public to private sphere? Changes in the professional orientations of Nordic journalism students 2005-12
Publication TypeConference Paper
Author(s)Hovden, J. F.
Affiliation (1st Author)University of Bergen
Section or WGJournalism Research and Education Section
DateWed 26 June
Slot CodeJRE W2a
Slot Code (Keyword)JRE W2a
Time of Session11:00-12:30
Session TitleFragmented Publics and Redefining Journalism Theme IV: Methods for Quantifying Professional Journalism.
Submission ID5395

In the last 10-15 years, the Nordic countries have experienced a series of transformations of journalists´ working life and job markets analogous to those in many other western countries, linked to well-discussed processes following digitalisation, changing (and increasingly competitive) media markets etc. To study how such developments have had an impact on young journalists´professional ideals and orientations, this paper uses data from three web surveys of journalism students in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland in 2005, 2008 and 2012 (in total 4665 responded from 23 institutions). Through correspondence analysis, differences in students professional ideals, preferred working themes and types of publications they would like working in are first described linked to national, institutional (e.g. type of education) and sociological variables (e.g. parents education, gender). Following this, general changes in these orientations in the period 2005-12 are described both on a Nordic and national level, in particular in regard to movement from public sphere- towards private sphere-related ideals for journalism, and discussed in relation to changes in the national journalistic systems and the social recruitment of students. Some main points will be the importance of studying intra-national differences (as differences between various schools of journalism are often bigger than between countries), the importance of class and gender differences in determining professional values, the effect of the decreasing mean age of journalism students - which disrupts the regular apprentice-model of education assumed by the teachers, and how seemingly similar changes in national media markets and job conditions (e.g. the larger presence of non-public broadcasting, the increased number of online journalists etc.) often are accompanied by changes in attitudes and aspirations which not only differ much nationally, but often do not follow a simple logic of “reactions” to external demand.

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