Refugees, Media, and Public Opinion: Theoretical and Empirical Perspectives

Sophie Lecheler, Jörg Matthes, Hajo Boomgaarden

Having been neglected by journalism scholars in the past, recent years have seen renewed interest in journalism’s role in everyday life, in addition to the traditional focus on journalism’s relationship with politics. In particular, a growing body of work is concerned with the practices, content and distribution of lifestyle journalism. Yet, there are still large gaps in our knowledge of the field in terms of how lifestyle journalists themselves think about their work and their role in society. Based on an online survey of more than 600 Australian lifestyle journalists, this article identifies four key roles that these journalists see themselves as fulfilling: service providers, life coaches, community advocates and inspiring entertainers. These dimensions tie into recent theorizations about journalistic roles and everyday life, and not only enhance our understanding of lifestyle journalism, but more importantly contribute to a better recognition of journalism’s role in society. Further, the article explores some key determinants for differences in the way journalists value the four roles, identifying economic aspects on the organizational level, as well as specializations within lifestyle journalism as key areas of influence.

Department of Communication
Mass Communication and Society
Publication date
Peer reviewed
Austrian Fields of Science 2012
508014 Journalism, 508007 Communication science
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