Wits Journalism launches its second State of the Newsroom, South Africa, 2014: Disruptions Accelerated at a Media Freedom Day celebration co-hosted with the South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) on October 17. The State of the Newsroom research, led by Glenda Daniels, documents a time of major transitions in the journalism industry. It is of industrial and social value, and is the first of its kind from any Journalism school in SA.
The 2013 report, titled Disruptions and Transitions, was a pilot for what we hoped would be an annual State of the Newsroom research report. The pilot was very well received by the industry, as well as the peer reviewers. Newsrooms are going through massive change and this was a ground breaking effort to catalogue and critique it. We ensured the research had a strong academic base, but presented it in a way that was useful to our media industry. As a result, it has been widely used and quoted. It has drawn praise from the World Association of Editors.
The 2014 State of the newsroom: Disruptions Accelerated chapters include: The Media Landscape; Digital First Developments: Experimentation and Promiscuity; Social Media Trends; Twitter and Journalism in the Newsroom; Community Newspapers: Diversity and Difficulties; Community Radio: Power Plays; and Where do Journalism Graduates go?
It is about 140 pages, with 77 interviews. The study was both quantitative and qualitative in nature. The report contains trends, analyses, graphs, graphics, photographs and finally, there are appendices with important information on transformation – race and gender; falling circulations in print; retrenchments; social media policy guidelines; and attacks and harassment incidents of journalists over the last year.
The launch on 17 October, 2014 takes place at 12 noon, Media24, Kingsway Road, Auckland Park during a Sanef/Wits Journalism Media freedom day event/Black Wednesday commemoration. The event is open to everyone.