Digital Technologies and a Changing Profession: New Management Devices, Practices and Power Relations in News Work

Ursula Plesner, Elena Raviola

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Purpose: The purpose of this article is to investigate what role particular new management devices play in the development of the news profession in an organizational setting shifting to new technologies.
Design/methodology/approach: This is studied through of observations of work practices in the newsroom and through documentary research and qualitative interviews with managers, editors, and other professionals.
Findings: It is shown that management devices such as the news table and the news concept are central to the reorganization of news work, as they realize managers’ strategies, just like they produce new practices and power relationships. It is shown that the devices produce increased collaboration among journalists and interaction between managers and output journalists, that mundane work and power is delegated to technological devices and that news products are increasingly standardized.
Practical implications: The wider implications of these findings seems to be a change in the journalistic profession: TV news journalism is becoming less individualistic and more collective and professionalism becomes a matter of understanding and realizing the news organization’s strategy, rather than following a more individual agenda.
Originality/value: The articles’ originality lies in showing that profession and management are not opposed to each other, but can be seen as a continuum on which journalistic and managerial tasks become intertwined. This is in contrast to previous research on news work. Furthermore, the article’s focus on devices opens up for conceptualizing power in the news room as distributed across a network of people and things, rather executed by managers alone.
TidsskriftJournal of Organizational Change Management
Udgave nummer7
Sider (fra-til)1044-1065
Antal sider22
StatusUdgivet - 2016


  • Digital technologies
  • Professions
  • Digital newsroom
  • Journalists
  • Management devices
  • News production