Publications

(latest first)

Fulton, J.M., 2016, ‘Media entrepreneurship: social networking sites, the audience and new media professionals’, paper presented at Australian and New Zealand Communication Association conference: Creating Space in the Fifth Estate. University of Newcastle, Newcastle, Australia, July 6-8, 2016.

Abstract

A research project that is examining how new media entrepreneurs and online media ventures survive in the digital space has found that a consistent theme is how active these respondents are on social network sites and how critical this engagement is in their success. Thirty media producers in this space, including bloggers, online magazine producers, web publishers and broadcasters, have been interviewed and one theme that has emerged is how these new media entrepreneurs share and collaborate with their audience using social media and other forms of digital communication. Within that theme, what has also emerged is how the intimate understanding of an audience leads to an awareness of which method of interactive communication will appeal to that audience.

While there has been a broad range of responses to which social network site is employed to engage the audience, and platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest, among others, were noted, the interaction provided by these sites is crucial in how these participants connect with their audience. Analysis of the data has shown that each participant has carefully chosen the form/s of social media and digital dissemination that their audience would find appropriate but the majority have also experimented, with differing levels of success, with a broad range of communication forms to ascertain which strategy works best. These participants use social media to engage with their different audiences in different ways, to keep in contact with others in their industry, and promote their sites/work.

This paper discusses the respondents’ social media use and its value including a discussion on how the use is crucial in building and maintaining an audience.

Powerpoint presentation


Fulton, J.M., 2015, ‘Are you a journalist? New media entrepreneurs and who is a journalist in the digital space’, Javnost—The Public, 22(4), pp. 362-374. DOI: 10.1080/13183222.2015.1091624

Abstract

This article reports on findings from a research project that is examining alternative paths for media producers. The researcher has interviewed media producers in the digital space, including bloggers, online magazine producers, broadcasters and website producers, to discover what skills are required to work in a digital space, what business models are successful and what technologies are being employed. One of the questions asked of each of the respondents was “Do you consider what you are doing journalism?” Responses have shown that there is often a particular view of journalism and what it is and who can be called a journalist: those who have worked as journalists in traditional media still call themselves journalists while others who have come into the space via other professions are cautious about using the term. The article draws on the respondents’ comments from the research in an attempt to further understand how such definitions around journalism and journalist are informing media producers and their understanding of these terms in a splintering media epoch.


Fulton, J.M., 2015, ‘New media entrepreneurship: building credibility online’, paper presented at the Australian and New Zealand Communication Association Conference 2015, University of Canterbury, Queenstown, New Zealand, 8-10 July, 2015.

Abstract

A research project that is examining how alternative media producers work and survive in the online space has found that a key element for success is building credibility, or trust, with an audience. In a similar way to traditional media, credibility with an audience is essential to online publishing ventures to making money and generate success. If an audience trusts the producer, they will return. The researcher has interviewed bloggers, online magazine producers, website developers and broadcasters to investigate four main questions: what skills are required to work in the online environment, what business models are used, what technologies are employed, and what is the degree of success. Success for these respondents, either financial or personal, is dependent on an intimate understanding of their audience.

This paper is reporting on how the respondents in the research project view credibility and how they build, or have built, that trust with the audience. Analysis of the data gathered via interviews and analysis of online sites has shown that there are three ways an individual can build credibility with an audience: authenticity, engagement and interactivity with the audience, and transparency. The paper will discuss these three themes and also discuss how important it is to understand the audience as well as considering these findings in relation to older communication modes such as traditional media.

Powerpoint presentation


Fulton, J. M., 2015, ‘“I have done some things that would quite be qualified as journalism, but I don’t identify as a journalist”: who is a journalist in the digital space?’, presentation at What is Journalism? Exploring the Past, Present & Future Conference 2015, University of Oregon, Portland, Oregon, USA.

 Abstract

I have done some things that would quite be qualified as journalism, but I don’t identify as a journalist, because I think being a journalist as a professional statement implies a whole set of approaches to the world (Mark Pesce, i/v 17.7.14).

Mark Pesce was talking about his work as a producer of information in the digital space. Pesce could be considered a media professional that is engaged in, as Margaret Simons says, “the dissemination of news and views about our world” (2013, p. 13), but he is engaged in newer forms of media to provide those news and views. The quote from Pesce, however, sums up quite succinctly the division between those that call themselves journalists and those that seem to do the same type of work but are wary about labels and their connotations.

This paper will report on a finding from a research project that is examining alternative paths for media producers. The researcher has interviewed media producers in the digital space, including bloggers, online magazine producers, broadcasters and website producers, to discover what skills are required to work in a digital space, what business models are successful and what technologies are being employed.

One of the questions asked of each of the respondents was ‘Do you consider what you are doing journalism?’ Responses have shown is that there is often a particular view of journalism and what it is and who can be called a journalist: those who have worked as journalists in traditional media still call themselves journalists while others who have come into the space via other professions are cautious about using the term.

This paper will draw on the respondents’ comments from the research in an attempt to further understand how such definitions around journalism and journalist are informing media producers and their understanding of these terms in a splintering media epoch.

Simons, M. 2013, What’s next in journalism?: new-media entrepreneurs tell their stories, Scribe Publications, Brunswick, Victoria.

Powerpoint presentation


Fulton, J.M., 2014, ‘Media entrepreneurship: the value of SNS for alternative media producers’, presentation at the Journalism Education and Researchers Association of Australia Conference 2014, UTS, Sydney, Australia (refereed abstract).

Abstract

“… [the blog] doesn’t work in isolation, you’ve got your social media networks around it and the idea is that’s how you bring your readers into the blog … this is the key when you’re trying to work out what social media to be on; you need to know where your readers potentially are hanging out” (Nikki Parkinson, Styling You, i/v 11.5.14).

Nikki Parkinson from lifestyle blog Styling You has neatly described how important an audience is to alternative media producers and the value of social network sites (SNS) in engaging and interacting with that audience. This presentation will report on one part of an ongoing ethnographic study that is investigating how media producers in the digital space are employing different ways to disseminate information. Different opportunities have opened up for media producers because of new technologies and the study is examining how these producers work in the digital space.

Media producers in this space, including bloggers, online magazine producers and web publishers, have been interviewed and asked what platforms they use, how they monetise their work, and how they have adapted their skills to work in the online environment. While there have been a broad range of responses to the questions, particularly how they monetise their work, one consistent theme is how active these respondents are on SNS and how critical these sites are in their success. While respondents noted using SNS, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, is important in how they connect with an audience, it was clear from the responses that these producers would not be successful without this interaction on SNS with their audience.

This presentation will discuss the respondents’ social media use and its value including a discussion on how the use is crucial in building and maintaining an audience.

Powerpoint presentation


Fulton, J.M., 2014, ‘Media entrepreneurship: alternative paths for media producers’, presented at the Australian and New Zealand Communication Association Conference 2014, Swinburne University, Melbourne Australia.

Abstract

A new type of media professional, with entrepreneurial skills, has emerged in the contemporary media environment in Australia – a professional that is informing the public but stretching the boundaries of journalism. These professionals are following a path that is an alternative to traditional journalism by blogging, tweeting, aggregating online content, and producing online publications. This paper will discuss a research project that aims to conduct an investigation into these new media professionals: how have they adapted their skills in production environments; what technologies and software, including SEOs and social media analytics, are deployed by these new media professionals; what are the evolving business models they are using; and, what are the degrees of success of these new media professionals according to different locations in the mediascape.

Media producers in the West have been faced with changes in the way content is produced and consumed with changes in technology, digitisation of content, and convergence each playing a part in a transforming media landscape. However, with these new technologies, different opportunities have opened up for media content producers, and there is an urgent need for empirical evidence on these new media professionals and how they work and survive in the digital media landscape. We know, anecdotally, that these new media professionals exist, and research in New Zealand has shown that bloggers are becoming increasingly active in the media domain and have “started to fill the gap in public interest journalism left by the commercially operated media corporates” (Myllylahti, 2013, p. 42). But as yet, there is little empirical data at the moment that demonstrates the Australian experience.

Employment woes for journalists in Western media in traditional media forms have been well documented (Fulton & Balnaves, 2013). However, according to research by Economic and Market Development Advisors (EMDA), media jobs in Australia increased in 2012. The EMDA report noted a decrease in traditional employment with an increase in employment in media such as websites, online magazines and other Web 2.0 forms. The aim of this research is to examine workers in this Web 2.0 area. The Web 2.0 environment has enabled people outside the mainstream media to engage with an audience, and provide media, via platforms such as blogs, microblogs, social networking sites and websites.

Because of the radical changes to journalism over the last decade and the different way it is now produced and delivered, and the rise of alternative sources of information, it is even more crucial to examine the newer styles of journalism and this examination will be done in this research by examining the producers themselves using ethnographic techniques such as semi-structured interviewing. This paper will report on the project and its importance including a review of literature in the area.

Powerpoint presentation

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