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JOURNALISM MEETS MANAGEMENT: Changing Leadership in Swedish News Organizations

Journal article
Authors Ulrika Andersson
Jenny Wiik
Published in Journalism Practice
Volume 7
Issue 6
Pages 705-719
ISSN 1751-2786
Publication year 2013
Published at Department of Journalism, Media and Communication (JMG)
Pages 705-719
Language en
Keywords Journalism; Managerialism; Market orientation; News work; Professional identity; Professionalism
Subject categories Media and Communications, Media Studies


The development of news production over the last decade has accentuated the negotiation between two forces of change: professional discourse and managerial discourse. The first characterizes journalistic identity by normative ideals and serves to legitimize journalists as an autonomous and self-regulating group. Managerial discourse, on the other hand, expresses the globalization of values and economy in the labour market, as well as in the area of communication, streamlining organizational models, and suggesting a business thinking common to several industries, in addition to an evolving view of the individual as an entrepreneur. Managerialism has implications for all levels of news work and, above all, emphasizes audience orientation, as the will of the audience becomes imperative. It promotes a form of leadership rather new to Scandinavian news organizations by strongly bringing the key values of profit and efficiency to the negotiating table. This article focuses on the constant negotiation between discourses by drawing empirical support from three survey studies of editors-in-chief and journalists in Sweden. It describes how editors-in-chief perceive their own role to be changing and why, and attempts to relate the new forms of leadership to current professional developments in journalism.

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