Podcast: Matthew Weber’s 21st century newsroom

Matthew Weber
Matthew Weber

Over the last decade, there have been significant shifts in how news is packaged, how news is consumed and how news is paid for or sold. But, how have hiring practices of newsrooms changed — if at all — in the face of such disruption? A new project wants to find the answer, provide strategies for helping newsrooms adapt and create sustainable solutions.

Matthew Weber, his collaborator, Allie Kosterich (Pace University) and their team collected employment histories, educational backgrounds and skill sets of employees of a variety of news organizations. They found that the print news industry tended to hire from within and did not seek people with different abilities. Weber sees this as a barrier to bringing new ideas into the newsroom and failing to be truly innovative.

Matthew Weber is an associate professor of communication and co-director of Rutgers’ NetSCI Network Science lab. Weber’s research examines newsroom adaptation amidst a dynamic media environment. Most recently, Weber coauthored “Imitation in the quest to adapt: Lessons from news media on the early Web” to be published in the International Journal of Communication.

Weber’s project is called Newsroom 21: New Hiring Practices and the Challenge of Building a 21st Century Newsroom. This podcast is a part of our Spotlight on Research series. Listen to the six-minute podcast below.