Journalists and Job Loss is published
The second book from the New Beats project has been published by Routledge. Journalists and Job Loss, which was edited by a team of researchers led by Tim Marjoribanks, explores the profound disruption of journalism work across four continents in the 21st century’s networked digital media environment.
The chapters analyse how journalists have experienced and navigated job loss, re-employment, career change and career re-invention as traditional patterns of newsroom employment give way to occupational change, income insecurity and precarious work in journalism globally. The authors showcase the design, methodology and results of the New Beats project, which was launched in Australia in 2014, as well as related case studies of job loss and career change in journalism based on research in different national settings. These include the US, Canada, Indonesia, South Africa, Sweden, the Netherlands, Finland, the UK, and Portugal. The book also considers the wider implications of changes in journalism work for media sustainability, gender equity, and journalism work futures.
Upheaval is published
The New Beats book Upheaval: Disrupted Lives in Journalism has been published by UNSW Press, and was launched in Melbourne in July (in a very narrow window between lockdowns) by Lisa Millar, co-host of ABC TV’s News Breakfast program.
The book, which was edited by Andrew Dodd and Matthew Ricketson, which chapters authored by other members of the New Beats team, draws on the stories of more than 50 journalists who were interviewed for the project’s collaboration with the National Library of Australia.
The interviews encompass the stories of those working inside frenetic and vibrant newsrooms across Australia at the peak of their influence, and the difficulties they faced in adapting to ever-accelerating news cycles with fewer resources. Some left journalism altogether after the mass redundancy rounds from 2012 to 2014, while others stayed in the media — or sought to reinvent it.
Upheaval was shortlisted for the 2021 Oral History Australia Book Award and has received substantial media coverage.
You can hear a lengthy interview with Matthew about the book here.
Publications that have reviewed the book so far include Inside Story, ArtsHub, Medium, Australian Policy and History, The Age/Sydney Morning Herald, and Pacific Journalism Review (scroll down to p.311).
We will continue to update news and reviews of the book here.
New Beats at the Australia Media Traditions conference
On Thursday 28th November a New Beats panel will be held as part of the Australian Media Traditions conference at the University of Melbourne. The panel will feature an overview of the project as it nears its completion, focusing in particular on the oral history life history interviews that have been completed with almost 60 project participants. Guardian Australia journalist Amanda Meade will join the panel in conversation with Matthew Ricketson to share her reflections on profound changes that have occurred across the media industry over the last decade.
New Beats report launched
Our 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.
Our industry partners are the National Library of Australia, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance.
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.
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 podcasts 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?
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 podcasts being planned with the ABC.
Details of New Beats publications including senate submissions, journal articles, conference papers, media articles and radio interviews can be found here.