Protean storytellers: Journalists' identities in an uncertain future

Lourdes Miriam Cueva Chacon, University of Texas at El Paso


Journalism is undergoing a crisis period and, even though publishers, journalists and scholars do not agree about the future of news media industries, certainly they agree that what was once the dominant model of journalism is now changing drastically. Journalists are facing dynamic and changing environments that demand from them to develop new skills and to perform new roles. This is the environment where the new generation of journalists is forming, forcing them to rethink their future careers. For this research students’ narratives where collected to determine the rhetorical ways in which students articulate their identity as journalists, what were the process they followed to embrace their professional identity, and how much the current transformation period influences the articulation of these identities. Four major journalist roles emerged from this study: storyteller, cyborg, expert-objective disseminator and voice of the voiceless. This study also confirmed that the identity-verification process was the most relevant for students when building their professional identity. Finally, students manifested their adoption of protean identities in order to be prepared for the changes that the industry demands from them. ^

Subject Area

Journalism|Speech Communication

Recommended Citation

Cueva Chacon, Lourdes Miriam, "Protean storytellers: Journalists' identities in an uncertain future" (2010). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI1489013.