Podcasting in the German News Industry

Gwendolin Niehues

Studenteropgave: Kandidatafhandlinger


This thesis explores how podcasting has emerged as a common practice among quality news organizations in Germany and how organizations manage the adoption of this new practice. The goal of this research project is to highlight the mechanisms that lead to adoption of a new practice in a highly institutionalized field, and to understand the intra-organizational mechanisms that influence, how organizations manage this new medium. The research takes the approach of case studies, by investigating the podcasting practices at three quality news organizations in Germany, ZEIT, SPIEGEL, and Süddeutsche Zeitung. The findings are largely based on semi-structured qualitative interviews conducted with members of the organizations who have key insights into podcasting. To understand the mechanisms at play, the perspectives provided by new institutional theory and organizational identity theory are used. Whereas new institutional literature suggests homogeneity of structures, practices, and beliefs as an outcome of the pursuit of legitimacy, identity theories focus on the intra-organizational processes that create distinctiveness. The results of this study suggest that in adoption of podcasting, both the pursuit of legitimacy and identity influence the adoption of the practice. I argue that organizational identity is the mediating factor that influences the translation of the practice from organizational field to organization. The discussion of the findings show that podcasts present a unique opportunity for quality news organizations to highlight unique identity without compromising on legitimacy.

UddannelserCand.soc.cbp Management of Creative Business Processes , (Kandidatuddannelse) Afsluttende afhandling
Antal sider93
VejledereJesper Strandgaard