New Beats: Mass redundancies, career changes and the future of Australian journalism

Australian newspapers

This ongoing project is investigating what happens to around 3,000 journalists who became redundant in Australia during or since 2012.

The project, which commenced in 2014, has been funded by the Australian Research Council through the ARC Linkage and ARC Discovery schemes and is being conducted by a team of researchers from La Trobe University, Deakin University, the University of Melbourne, Swinburne University, the University of Sydney and the University of Amsterdam.

The New Beats project includes a mix of surveys and extended interviews with journalists who took redundancies during or since 2012. We also plan to produce several podcasts using material from the interviews.

Specifically, the project has been addressing the following questions:

  • How have journalists who were made redundant in Australia understood and made sense of that experience, both at an individual and collective level?
  • How are they navigating the reinvention of their careers in journalism or other fields?
  • How might the collective wisdom of these journalists be used by Australian media?
  • How is the reinvention of individual careers contributing to the reinvention of journalism?
  • How are their experiences and career trajectories relevant to an increased understanding of changes happening in workplaces more generally in 21st century Australia?

Outcomes / activities

Details of New Beats publications including senate submissions, journal articles, conference papers, media articles and radio interviews can be found on the New Beats website.

New Beats media coverage

International collaborations

We have a number of international collaborators with similar studies completed in the Netherlands, Canada, USA, Indonesia and South Africa. In 2018 we held a symposium and Melbourne Press Club event featuring international academics and journalists. ‘Jobs After Journalism’ explored how the tidal wave of redundancies is an international phenomenon but one that has played out differently from country to country. In 2017 ‘Beyond the Newsroom’, a presentation by New Beats researcher, Professor Mark Dueze from the University of Amsterdam, was broadcast on Big Ideas, ABC Radio National. It explored digital disruption in the media and how it has affected the careers of journalists and media workers.

Project details


Australian Research Council

Research partners

National Library of Australia
Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance

Project team

The New Beats team includes researchers from five universities. The seven chief investigators are:

Professor Andrew Dodd, University of Melbourne
Professor Lawrie Zion, La Trobe University
Professor Matthew Ricketson, Deakin University
Penny O’Donnell, Senior Lecturer, University of Sydney
Professor Tim Marjoribanks, Associate Dean (Research and Development), Professor of Management, Swinburne University
Professor Mark Deuze, University of Amsterdam
Merryn Sherwood, Lecturer, La Trobe University


Professor Andrew Dodd

More information

New Beats website