New Beats report launched

Stop Press: Our newly released New Beats report, which examines key findings from our four annual surveys conducted between 2014 and 2017, can be found here. An article about the report has also been published in The Conversation.

About the New Beats project

Welcome to the site for New Beats: Mass redundancies, career changes and the future of Australian journalism. The project is investigating what happens to around 3,000 journalists who became redundant in Australia during or since 2012.

The project, which commenced in 2014, has been funded by the Australian Research Council through the ARC Linkage and ARC Discovery schemes and is being conducted by a team of researchers from La Trobe University, Deakin University, the University of Melbourne, Swinburne University, the University of Sydney and the University of Amsterdam.

Industry partners

Our industry partners are the National Library of Australia, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance.

International collaborations

We have a number of international collaborators with similar studies completed in the Netherlands, Canada, USA, Indonesia and South Africa. In 2018 we held a symposium and Melbourne Press Club event featuring international academics and journalists. ‘Jobs After Journalism’ explored how the tidal wave of redundancies is an international phenomenon but one that has played out differently from country to country.  In 2017 ‘Beyond the Newsroom’, a presentation by New Beats researcher, Professor Mark Dueze from the University of Amsterdam, was broadcast on Big Ideas, ABC Radio National. It explored digital disruption in the media and how it has affected the careers of journalists and media workers.

Project details

The New Beats project includes a mix of surveys and extended interviews with journalists who took redundancies during or since 2012. We also plan to produce several radio documentaries using material from the interviews.  Details of New Beats publications can be found here.

Specifically, the project has been addressing the following questions:

  • How have journalists who were made redundant in Australia understood and made sense of that experience, both at an individual and collective level?
  • How are they navigating the reinvention of their careers in journalism or other fields?
  • How might the collective wisdom of these journalists be used by Australian media?
  • How is the reinvention of individual careers contributing to the reinvention of journalism?
  • How are their experiences and career trajectories relevant to an increased understanding of changes happening in workplaces more generally in 21st century Australia?

Surveys

To launch the project, we conducted a pilot survey of nearly 100 journalists who took a redundancy package in 2012. Between 2014 and 2017 we conducted expanded annual surveys with up to 225 journalists who took redundancy during or since 2012. The findings of the 2013 survey have been published in this article in the journal Journalism Practice. The findings of the 2014-2017 surveys have been published in ‘New Beats Report: Mass Redundancies and Career Change in Australian Journalism’ . In 2016 we also conducted a one-off survey with journalists whose positions were made redundant in regional Australia.

The main focus of our surveys was whether, and how, those who left newsrooms are adapting their traditional skills and remaking their careers in digital media. We tracked and analysed the experiences of those who had difficulty finding paid journalistic work, as well as those who chose to move to different industries.

Oral History Project

We are also conducting in-depth interviews with 60 journalists who have taken redundancies since 2012. The interviews explore the broad arc of the careers of these journalists and will be curated by the National Library of Australia for their oral history collection.  Material from the interviews will be also used in radio documentaries being planned with the ABC.

Publications

Details of New Beats publications including senate submissions, journal articles, conference papers, media articles and radio interviews can be found here.