Exploring how digitalisation has influenced entertainment and lifestyle journalism at Tiso Blackstar Group

Farah, Jessica (2020-03)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2020.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study explores how entertainment and lifestyle journalists have been influenced by digitalisation within the broader Tiso Blackstar Group newsroom. Presented within the field of journalism studies, the study analyses how digital tools have influenced the news gathering processes. These processes, including the selection and publication of content, are described by theories such as the news net, gate-keeping and news values, while concepts from Pierre Bourdieu’s field theory aid the understanding of a specialised field in the newsroom. A literature review showed the introduction of digital tools has been met with mixed reaction from journalists and media professionals as online journalism faces a myriad of criticism including fake news, sensationalist reporting, a lack of investigative stories and bowing down to the needs of the reader. This study is timeous as South African media houses, including Tiso Blackstar Group, are under fire for the publishing of alleged false stories and reported chequebook journalism. Bearing in mind the pressure digital journalism is under, and the ageold criticism that entertainment and lifestyle journalism produces “little of value” this study aimed to delve deeper into whether these criticisms are still valid in a digital age. This study used a mixed-methodology. Through semi-structured qualitative interviews with 14 participants, the researcher explored not only how news gathering processes have been changed, but also how story selection and publishing of content has been amended because of the implementation of digital tools in the newsroom. This information was compared to quantitative data in the form of daily diaries over a seven day period, the number of stories published by beats such as news, sport, politics, entertainment and lifestyle, and the number of clicks each beat receives. Entertainment and lifestyle journalists considered themselves as having high volumes of capital in the field of digital journalism based on the number of articles they produce, their ability to produce news quickly and the number of readers their content attracts. The research findings reveal that entertainment and lifestyle journalists experience of digital tools is different based on whether they are print or digitally focussed. The findings also showed that despite entertainment and lifestyle journalists believing they had more capital in the newsroom when compared to other beats, this did not amount to tangible results such as financial rewards. The study concludes that the newsroom at Tiso Blackstar Group remains segregated by journalists who work in digital and journalists who work at print brands. The impact of digital tools, therefore, is more applicable to those who work in a digital environment.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie ondersoek hoe vermaak- en leefstyljoernaliste binne die nuuskantoor van die groter Tiso Blackstar Group deur digitalisering geraak is. Die studie word aangebied binne die veld van joernalistiek-studies en analiseer hoe digitale hulpbronne die nuusinsamelingsprosesse beïnvloed het. Hierdie prosesse, wat die seleksie en publikasie van inhoud insluit, word beskryf deur teorieë soos die nuusnet, hekwagterswerk en nuuswaardes, terwyl konsepte uit Pierre Bourdieu se veldteorie aangewend word om die nuuskantoor as gespesialiseerde veld te verstaan. ʼn Literatuur-oorsig het aangedui dat die koms van digitale hulpbronne ʼn gemengde reaksie ontlok het by joernaliste en professionele mediamense, omdat aanlyn-joernalistiek beskuldig word van allerlei vergrype soos fopnuus, sensasionalistiese verslaggewing, ʼn gebrek aan ondersoekende joernalistiek en dans na die leser se pype. Hierdie studie is tydig omdat Suid- Afrikaanse mediahuise, insluitende Tiso Blackstar Group, onder skoot kom oor beweerde tjekboek-joernalistiek en die publikasie van vermeende onwaar stories. In ag genome die druk op digitale joernalistiek en die eeue-oue kritiek dat vermaak- en leefstyljoernalistiek “min van waarde” produseer, mik hierdie studie daarop om dieper te delf om uit te vind of hierdie kritiek steeds geldig is in ʼn digitale era. ʼn Gemengde metodologie is vir die studie gebruik. Die navorser het deur semigestruktureerde kwalitatiewe onderhoude met 14 deelnemers ondersoek hoe die nuusinsamelingsprosesse verander het, maar ook hoe storie-seleksie en die publikasie van inhoud aangepas is weens die implementering van digitale hulpbronne in die nuuskantoor. Hierdie inligting is vergelyk met kwantitatiewe data deur daaglikse dagboeke oor ʼn periode van sewe dae te analiseer, en hierdie dagboeke te vergelyk met gepubliseerde stories; en deur data oor leserstalle op TimesLIVE en SowetanLIVE te analiseer. Vermaak- en leefstyljoernaliste het aangedui hulle glo hulle het hoë volumes van kapitaal in die veld van digitale joernalistiek, gemeet aan die aantal artikels wat hulle produseer, sowel as hul vermoë om nuus vinnig te produseer, en die aantal lesers wat hul inhoud lok. Die navorsing dui aan dat vermaak- en leefstyljoernaliste se ervaring van digitale hulpbronne verskil na gelang van hul fokus op òf digitale òf gedrukte media. Die bevindings het ook gewys dat hoewel vermaak- en leefstyljoernaliste glo dat hul meer kapitaal in die nuuskantoor het in vergelyking met ander afdelings, dit nie tot tasbare resultate soos finansiële beloning lei nie. Die studie kom tot die slotsom dat die nuuskantoor by Tiso Blackstar Group steeds gesegregeer is met digitale joernaliste aan die een kant en joernaliste wat in die gedrukte media werk aan die ander. Die impak van digitale hulpbronne is dus meer van toepassing op diegene wat in ʼn digitale omgewing werk.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/107951
This item appears in the following collections: