Journalism in Transition: The Austrian Comprehensive Survey
Ten years have elapsed since the first and, to date, last comprehensive survey of the total population of Austrian journalists (published in: Kaltenbrunner et al. 2007). It has been a decade of massive change in the world of communication, a decade of digital disruption which set in motion immense transformation in both Austrian and international journalism. The present research project aims at assessing the current situation of Austrian journalists in as exhaustive a manner as possible. A “Journalism Transition Matrix” has been developed by the researchers to investigate and identify the changes and ongoing processes.
Our new study utilizes a multi-method approach, is subdivided into four constituent project phases, each with its own method mix. 1) will be the initiation of a broad discussion on what defines journalism and how it influences society. 2) will be a new assessment of Austrian journalists by a comprehensive survey (socio-demographic profile, media categories, education etc.). 3) will – based on a representative sample (N = 500 journalists) – deliver new data on journalists’ role perception and political self-conception, ethical guidelines, working conditions and qualification. This quantitative survey will be underpinned by qualitative interviews in the newsroom. The final phase 4) will result in a next step in defining professional journalism, its role in society and finally in dissemination and publication of the research results.