About the New Beats project

Welcome to the site for New Beats: A study of Australian journalists who became redundant during or since 2012. The project is investigating what happens to the more than 2,500 journalists who became redundant in Australia during or since 2012.

The four-year project 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, Swinburne University, Sydney University 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 underway, or planned, in the Netherlands, Canada, Indonesia and Germany.

Project details

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.

Surveys

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.

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?

Oral History Project

As well as conducting four annual surveys in 2014, 2015 and 2016 and 2017, we are also conducting 60 extended interviews with journalists looking at 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 radio documentaries being planned with the ABC.

Publications

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

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

This is an active research project that aims to create a network of journalists who have become redundant in order 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.

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

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