Post Crisis Journalism: Rethinking Journalistic Futures

TitlePost Crisis Journalism: Rethinking Journalistic Futures
Publication TypeConference Paper
Author(s)Siapera, E., and L. Papadopoulou
Affiliation (1st Author)Dublin City University
Section or WGJournalism Research and Education Section
DateThurs 27 June
Slot CodeJRE T4c
Slot Code (Keyword)JRE T4c
Time of Session16:00-17:30
Session TitleQuality and Quantity Indicators: Two sides of the story Across Themes: Professional Journalism, International Perspectives & Quantifying Methods
Submission ID5485

This paper is concerned with recording and identifying possible sources for the renewal of journalism stemming organically from within the field. In the past five years, Greece has found itself at the centre of the Eurozone crisis, teetering on the brink of bankruptcy and relying on bailouts by the Troika. The sovereign debt crisis has triggered a series of smaller but cumulatively important crises in various Greek institutions, including the political system and the media. For journalism in particular, the crisis has exacerbated its already existing serious financial problems, while it seriously damaged its credibility. Several titles closed, while others filed for bankruptcy protection. As collective agreements are not implemented, most news work is currently freelance while on the internet, news blogs and other news outlets rely on free labour. The upshot is that just when the Greek public needs journalism the most, to help inform, criticize, and debate the politico-economic situation, journalists may be unable to deal with these pressures effectively. On the other hand, to consider journalists as passive victims may overlook the ways in which they are responding to the crisis. This paper seeks to identify and map these responses while also assessing their significance in terms of the normative role of journalism. Based on a series of in depth interviews with journalists and union representatives, it seeks to draw out the different ways in which they respond to the crisis and spell out the implications both for the future of journalism and its relationship to democracy. Three kinds of narratives emerge,, a pessimistic one, which views the future of journalism as bleak, and insists on a return to traditional values to save journalism. This narrative appears to be the most popular one. An optimistic one, which views the crisis as a leveling force and which sees the future of journalism as involving the development of up-to-date skills and values that make the most of new technologies and hybrid forms of news reporting. This narrative was popular among the younger journalists. Finally, a radical/alternative one, that dismisses current forms of journalism as involved in the trade of news and information and in undermining rather than serving emancipatory goals; the future of journalism, according to this narrative, is to oppose all kinds of commodification of information and to develop new means of reporting and financing itself. While not very popular, this narrative was linked to some of the most innovative kinds of crowd-funded journalism in Greece, and hence it is becoming increasingly influential and apparent popular among politically active publics in Greece. In conclusion, the paper then draws out the implications of all these narratives for the renewal and development of a post crisis journalism.

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