Skip to main content

Professional Identity and the Transition from Journalism Practitioner to Journalism Educator.

Eccles, C., 2023. Professional Identity and the Transition from Journalism Practitioner to Journalism Educator. Doctoral Thesis (Doctoral). Bournemouth University.

Full text available as:

ECCLES, Catharine_Ed.D._2023.pdf
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.



This research explores the journey made by journalists as they leave their former profession to become educators and researchers within Higher Education, with a view to better understanding how this transition affects journalism education and the future of the profession. A high proportion of staff in journalism departments originate from a journalism background, often having worked for several years, and sometimes several decades, in the industry before entering academia, and their shift from one profession to another represents a significant life change for them, both personally and professionally. Known as ‘hackademics’, their transition is not straightforward, with unfamiliar work practices, a lack of experience in terms of teaching and research requirements, high workloads, and a lack of confidence often characterising their early transitionary phase. These challenges come amidst an on-going disruption within the journalism and Higher Education industries, both of which have experienced structural, financial and technological uncertainties over the last three decades. The study makes use of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis in order to collect and analyse the accounts of a small number of former journalists who have made the transition into academia. What emerges is the depth of the challenges they face, including a lack of support from their institutions, their former industry and their new colleagues; the paucity of a community spirit within their departments and institutions more broadly; their difficulty in shaking off their previous journalism identity; and their inability to regard themselves as true academics, now or in the future. Yet their commitment to their students, to journalism pedagogy and the journalism industry is evident. Such academics play a key role in the past, present and future of journalism and journalism education, and as such, it is argued, should be given greater support and acknowledgement from within and beyond the academy as they make the crossing from one profession to another.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information:If you feel that this work infringes your copyright please contact the BURO Manager.
Uncontrolled Keywords:Journalism; Higher Education; IPA
Group:Faculty of Media & Communication
ID Code:39130
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:14 Nov 2023 16:19
Last Modified:14 Nov 2023 16:19


Downloads per month over past year

More statistics for this item...
Repository Staff Only -