Newsrooms as Sites of Community and Identity: Exploring the Importance of Material Place for Journalistic Work

Phoebe Maares, Sandra Banjac, Daniel Nölleke

Publication: Contribution to journalJournal articlesResearchpeer-review


Recent research has examined the sociomaterial contexts that shape journalistic practice within and beyond the newsroom, considering relationships between humans, and between humans and (non)physical artifacts like desks, computers, or software. While much of that research has focused on the use and role of technology, recent research also suggests an affective dimension of materiality like the sense of stability provided by physical news spaces. The newsroom as a material and lived place and place of power relations can greatly shape journalists’ work practices and identity. However, the relevance of the newsroom as a physical place for journalistic practice has so far been taken for granted. This study investigates the role of the newsroom as a physical, material place for journalistic practice and how it contributes to journalists’ sense of belonging and identity. Drawing on interviews with 18 Austrian journalists, we find that newsrooms as sociomaterial places facilitate proximity and serendipity which is perceived as relevant for creative and effective work, as well as a visible manifestation of in-group belonging. As such this study contributes to a better understanding of the meaning and relevance of newsrooms as material places for journalistic work.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournalism Studies
Issue number13
Pages (from-to)1611-1628
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Research areas and keywords

  • Journalistic identity
  • news work
  • newsroom
  • place
  • qualitative research
  • sociomateriality


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