About the New Beats project

Welcome to the site for New Beats: A study of Australian journalists who became redundant during or since 2012. This four-year project, which has been funded by the Australian Research Council, is being conducted by a team of researchers at five universities. It is investigating what happens next to the more than 2,500 journalists who became redundant in Australia during or since 2012.

For this study we are undertaking a mix of surveys and interviews and will produce several radio documentaries. To launch the project, in 2013 we conducted a pilot survey of nearly 100 journalists who took a redundancy package in 2012. The findings of this survey have been published in this article in the journal Journalism Practice. Details of other New Beats publications can be found here.

After receiving funding through the ARC Linkage scheme and ARC Discovery scheme in 2014, we conducted an expanded survey with 230 journalists who took redundancy between 2012 and 2014. We are conducting surveys of this group annually until 2017. In 2016 we also conducted a one-off survey with journalists whose positions were made redundant in regional Australia.

We have begun to internationalise the project with similar studies underway or planned in the Netherlands, Canada, Indonesia and Germany.

This is an active research project that aims to create a network of journalists who have become redundant to share information and gather data on jobs, demand for journalistic expertise, new career directions, re-training, and the impact of redundancy on professional identity, family life and well-being.

The main focus of our surveys is whether and how those who left newsrooms are adapting their traditional skills and remaking their careers in digital media. We are tracking and analysing the experiences of those having difficulty finding paid journalistic work, as well as those who have chosen to move to different industries. Specifically, the project addresses 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?

As well as conducting four annual surveys in 2014, 2015 and 2016 and 2017, we are also conducting 60 extended interviews with journalists about the broad arc of their career for a collection that will be curated by the National Library of Australia.  Material from these interviews will be used in an radio documentaries being planned with the ABC.. Our industry partners are the National Library of Australia, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance.

Have you become redundant from a media organisation in Australia since 2012?

If you’d like to get in touch with other enquiries, please use the form below.

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