Cover to cover: the changing identity of the magazine journalist as the medium goes from print to digital
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In the field of media studies, magazines and magazine journalism have not received the volume of attention that they deserve. However, this is slowly changing. The significance of studying magazine journalists and their changing role and identity has been underscored by a number of academics from the UK and America. This research study focuses on magazine journalists, particularly from India, in the light of technological advances particularly the Internet, social media, and handheld smart devices. The study aims to understand how these journalists cope with the demands of digitisation and how they feel their own identity has changed because of this. In-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with five magazine journalists in India. A thematic analysis of the data thus gathered revealed that magazine journalists in India appear to also be struggling with the pressures of digitisation, much like magazine journalists from Western countries. Their sense of identity, which was traditionally forged by the journalism school they went to and then the publication they worked for, is now becoming more independent. They are engaging with readers – more accurately described as magazine users – on a more personal level via social media channels. From being gatekeepers of magazine content – such as access to celebrity and exclusive information – they have become co-creators and co-consumers of the culture that they together represent. The results of this study contribute to widening the understanding of magazine journalism cultures in India around the world. Suggestions for further research and applications in pedagogy and practice are also included.