Journalists inform and enlighten their audiences through their writing every day. Political journalists play a key role in helping people form their political decisions. But lifestyle journalism has become recognized in terms of its economic success, its broadening of journalism’s ﬁnancial base and its cultural impact on people’s lives.
Folker Hanusch of the Department of Communication at the University of Vienna in Austria examined journalistic roles in the context of lifestyle journalism, surveying more than 600 Australian lifestyle journalists.
Results showed that lifestyle journalists play four key roles: service providers, life coaches, community advocates, and inspiring entertainers.
Journalists as service providers want to inform audiences and provide reviews of new products and services, report on new trends and ideas, promote the lifestyle industries and, more generally, provide advice to audiences.
As life coaches, journalists provide useful content to motivate people to improve or change their lifestyles as well as help people navigate through their lives.
Community advocate focuses on audience-related aspects, such as wanting to provide a forum for readers to ask questions, helping to create communities of audiences, providing a service to audiences, but also more critical roles such as advocating for audiences’ interests, telling audiences about ethical and moral dimensions of certain lifestyles and experiences, and monitoring and scrutinizing businesses involved in the lifestyle industries.
Lifestyle journalists as inspiring entertainer want to focus on content that entertains and inspires audiences, is fun to consume, lets audiences relax and provides ideas on how audiences can spend their leisure time.
Inspiring entertainers is the most popular role lifestyle journalists play, followed by service providers, life coaches, and community advocate.
To read the full text of the study: https://bit.ly/2GPu8fy
Hanusch, F. (2019). Journalistic roles and everyday life: An empirical account of lifestyle journalists’ professional views. Journalism Studies, 20(2), 193-211.