Thursday, 22 July 2010

Rewrite time

From the nature of convergence to the impact of the digital newsroom on professional journalistic identity. The emphasis of my research has shifted more substantially than I realised over the past year (mainly because I didn't look at my research questions for months on end but just kept on reading in the tiny cracks of time between teaching and marking).

When I looked yesterday at the research aims and objectives I wrote at the beginning of the year, they looked dull and shallow. So I've completely rewritten them to reflect my more recent reading and to focus on what for me is a far more interesting question than the nature of convergence - what it means as a journalist to be a professional and how that professionalism is being challenged now that readers can insult them in comment boxes and blog in a parallel universe.

Cue piles of books on sociology, ethnography and the workings of groups and organisations, all vast areas of scholarship, as I'm now starting to realise. I keep telling myself that I may not be a sociologist by training (or at all) but that journalism studies at Sheffield is in the Faculty of Social Sciences, which gives me what sociologists might call a "pseudo-legitimacy".

My next task after a week's holiday next week: to draft two chapters of 8,000 words each on the context of my research and a review of the literature. I've worked out that if I write 1,700 words a day I should be able to do it in two weeks. Just keep writing....

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