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Digital convergence in the newsroom: Examining cross-media news production and quality journalism

Srisaracam, Sakulsri 2019. Digital convergence in the newsroom: Examining cross-media news production and quality journalism. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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This study analyses varied types of cross-media production with the aim of furthering a critical understanding of the factors behind organizational strategies for creating journalistic content, recognizing both opportunities and constraints for journalistic practice across different platforms in Thailand. In methodological terms, the study draws on in-depth interviews with 30 editors and journalists from three different media outlets, specifically: Thairath, Nation Multimedia Group and PPTV HD36. Further, primarily for contextual purposes, the study also provides a textual analysis of news content as well as observations of newsroom dynamics to explore how cross-media journalism aims to achieve its intended quality standards. Findings suggest that the quality of cross-media journalism corresponds to the synergy of cross-media work practices and multiplatform content distribution strategies to create “a long-tailed journalism,” one that extends the scope and depth of breaking news stories. Pertinent dimensions of this process include giving news adequate context, creating multiple stories from different angles, and eventually achieving well-rounded, in-depth coverage. In the course of adapting to changes in newsroom practices brought about by digital convergence, it will be shown journalists and editors have faced significant tensions and challenges. In coping with the pressures of time management and associated risks concerning the degrading quality of news outputs, a cross-media production strategy was found to be beneficial under certain circumstances. It is based on co-operation, using a new-media team as a ‘bridging’ group between production teams serving ‘new’ and ‘old’ media platforms. It can foster the expansion of news production while enhancing the quality needed for well-rounded news coverage. On this basis, this study contributes to existing knowledge of cross-media production by providing a content-focused strategy of four types of functioning strategies – repurposing, cross-promotional, exclusive/extended and engaging reportage – which together expand stories across social-media platforms, websites and different traditional-media outlets. Each, in varying ways, helps to provide and extend diverse aspects of reportage that, taken together, have the potential to complement one another to provide higher quality news coverage. The thesis’s conclusions pinpoint the important argument that it is through the further integration of cross-media work practice and cross-media content strategies to improve synergies between ‘old’ and ‘new’ media that journalists and editors will secure better opportunities to achieve their goal of quality journalism. Four challenges are discovered to be particularly significant: (1) overcoming ethical tensions with due social responsibility; (2) providing reliable, accurate facts with meaningful context; (3) generating significant interest and relevant information in order to reach, engage and inform people; and (4) performing the role of a watchdog in the public interest (making issues known, and using professional power effectively, to raise awareness and stimulate action on social issues). Of critical importance is the need to shed light on practical frameworks to analyse cross-media strategies, ensuring journalism fulfils its responsibilities to the public interest by providing accurate, reliable knowledge and information. It is in this way, this thesis argues, that dialogue and debate about possible solutions to improve the quality of cross-media journalism will be advanced.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Journalism, Media and Culture
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 9 March 2020
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2020 02:28

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