Studying Role Conceptions in the Digital Age

A critical appraisal

Authored by: Folker Hanusch , Sandra Banjac

The Routledge Handbook of Developments in Digital Journalism Studies

Print publication date:  August  2018
Online publication date:  September  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138283053
eBook ISBN: 9781315270449
Adobe ISBN:


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Digital developments have been a central feature of journalism’s transformation over the past two decades. However, while journalism scholarship has paid considerable attention to these developments, this has not necessarily been the case across all areas of inquiry in the field. Where research has been slightly less responsive to digital transformations is the area of journalistic role conceptions, despite its centrality for much of the work that goes on in journalism research more broadly. Accounting for how journalists think about their work and the role they see for themselves in society is crucial because it is believed that such conceptions eventually affect what journalists actually do. While recent studies have suggested this link is not as strong as sometimes assumed (Tandoc et al., 2013; Mellado and van Dalen, 2014), there remains a strong belief in the importance of studying role conceptions as discursive devices to articulate what values are important in journalism (Hanitzsch and Vos, 2016).

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