Trust and fear in the newsroom: How emotions drive the exchange of innovative ideas
SourceJournalism Studies, 23, 9, (2022), pp. 999-1017
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OW MAW [owi]
SubjectCommunication and Media
This article analyses the social processes that stimulate the exchange of new ideas in newsrooms. New ideas are vital for legacy media news organisations to innovate and fundamentally reinvent themselves, which is crucial for their survival. Ample research in other disciplines has shown that perceptions of "trust" and "fear" are strong drivers for sharing (or not sharing) creative ideas at work. However, what fosters the sharing and developing of new ideas has been strikingly under-researched in journalism studies. To fill this research gap we ask: how do perceptions of trust and fear in the newsroom stimulate (or not) the sharing and developing of new ideas? Data have been gathered in the newsrooms of two Dutch newspapers, using qualitative interviews and non-participant observation. To enable new idea sharing to benefit all, people need to experience both trust in their peers and in their management. Results show that only newsroom elites perceive both types of trust and, hence, feel free to share their new ideas with management. This means that within newsrooms in transformation the innovative potential of the majority of people is not utilised as they fear to share their creative or new ideas upwards in the hierarchy.
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