In November the final part of my PhD research began in earnest with the first round of distribution of a survey investigating what skills and tools are being used in regional newspaper newsrooms in the UK today.
The survey – which takes no more than 20 minutes to complete – will provide a picture of how regional newspaper journalists are working in print and online. All responses are confidential and responses are anonymised prior to analysis.
The data from this research will inform a much wider study conducted over the past three years.
During that time I have collected job advertisements for regional newspaper and online equivalent positions posted on http://www.holdthefrontpage.co.uk and also by the three major newspaper publishers in the UK (Newsquest, Trinity Mirror and Johnston Press) between November and January each year.
The job advertisements are being analysed for keywords indicating the importance and prevalence of both digital and print skills and tools. The advertisements will also be analysed for other information – including the types of positions being advertised and the number of jobs being posted each year.
All of this will be considered when analysing the third element to the research project – that being observations and interviews conducted in two daily newspaper newsrooms owned by two of the three major UK regional newspaper publishers.
This fieldwork research took place last year, with three consecutive weeks spent at each of the newspaper titles.
If you are a journalist working at any level currently employed by a regional newspaper or its online equivalent and you would be willing to take part in my survey please send me a message via Twitter @RebeccaWMedia or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you the link.
Your one response could make a huge difference to the viability of my research project. All of this analysis and data will also help inform journalism training for undergraduate and post-graduate students.
Thanks in advance and please share this link with colleagues working for regional newspapers and their online platforms!