Closed doors, empty desks: the declining material conditions of the Czech local print newsroom

Metykova, Monika and Cisarova, Lenka Waschkova (2020) Closed doors, empty desks: the declining material conditions of the Czech local print newsroom. Journal of Applied Journalism and Media Studies, 9 (1). pp. 21-38. ISSN 2001-0818

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The crisis of journalism has been the subject of extensive scholarly and public debate. We argue that this debate needs to focus on actual developments on the ground that may be specific for a given society and that have serious consequences for the material conditions of journalists’ work. We focus specifically on local print newsrooms in the Czech Republic, one of the ‘new democracies’ of Eastern Europe. We interviewed local journalists in middle management positions at key stages of the transformation of the local newspaper publishing group Vltava Labe Press (VLP). We first approached journalists in 2015 when VLP’s German owners – the publishing house Verlagsgruppe Passau – sold the company to the Slovak investment group Penta and followed up a year later when the ‘re-structuralization’ of the local newspaper publisher was completed. It is not surprising that our case study demonstrates that commercial pressures impact directly on the material conditions as well as the locations and spaces of journalists’ work, with the latter ones representing areas that form a crucial part of workplace autonomy but have thus far been under-researched.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Czech Republic, local newspapers, autonomy, material conditions, local journalism crisis, Vltava Labe Media
Schools and Departments: School of Media, Film and Music > Media and Film
Depositing User: Monika Metykova
Date Deposited: 11 Apr 2019 09:09
Last Modified: 02 Mar 2021 02:00

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