Post-doc: Longitudinal analysis of professional careers in the media industry using social media data

Available Post-Doc Position
Grenoble Alpes Data Institute
Starting : September 1st 2018
Duration : 1 year
Contact :

La deadline est fixée au 31 mai et les réponses doivent parvenir par mail :
Le salaire sera fixé entre 2379 et 2958€ brut en fonction de l’expérience.

Only few professional labour markets have experienced a similar evolution over the 20th century to that which affected the journalists’ labor market. Since the 1990’s the crisis in the written press and a reconfiguration of the relations between professional and amateur work on the web [1] has contributed to reduce the number of available positions for journalists in the media industry. The simultaneous development of the public relations industry has opened up job opportunities outside the profession for mid/end of career journalists and thus diminished the attractivity of a full career in journalism. The development of journalism training programmes has considerably modified the profile of new entrants (who usually have now higher levels of qualification in most countries and thus expect more rewards from their jobs). Atypical employment and freelancing has also gained importance in most countries and concerns more than 30% of the journalists in the european media industry [2]. Wages have also tended to diminish in this industry according to surveys conducted by journalists’ unions [3].

Describing these changes raises methodological as well as sociological issues. Most of the data currently available on the journalists labor market in France come from professional organisations [4] and thus stem from a rather restrictive definition of who works in the media world. They do not allow complete careers to be described because they rely on aggregated data, do not for take into account non­journalistic activities and do not allow the monitoring of individuals after they may leave the profession. Alternative data have been gathered through survey research in other countries [5,6]. Longitudinal analysis of journalists’ career models in the media industry are also requested to understand what pushes individuals towards journalism, how they join the media labor market as well as what often pushes them away from it. This perspective also matter to many activities that rely on atypical employment conditions such as freelancing and experience new forms of digital labor that dramatically reduce the ability of professional groups to maintain their jurisdiction over specific work segments and the ability of individuals to maintain coherence in their life course [7,8,9].

The Post-Doc position is offered to contribute to a project aiming at providing new data and new analytical frameworks to understand the adjustments made by individuals throughout their careers in social worlds governed by flexible labor markets, such as those for journalists in the media. This project relies on the use of data found on professional social networks like LinkedIn, on which individuals can display their curriculum vitae and has a comparative dimension including large datasets from France, Brazil and the UK [10,11,12].

The Post-Doc researcher will contribute to the project by exploring the data collected in France in 2018 (N = 35.000 individuals and approx. 200.000 activity sequences). In close relationship with the project’s principal investigator, he or she will propose innovative approaches to a) the study of professional instability among the different pseudo-cohorts of individuals in the dataset ; b) the clustering of the data to identify similarities between career sequences.

The person recruited will participate to the initiative of the Grenoble Alpes Data Institute on «  Data science, Social sciences and Social Media » ( In this framework, he/she will work with a team of sociologists, computer and information scientists, probabilists and statisticians.

A previous experience in handling sequence data either in social or computing science will be highly regarded.

[1] Leadbeater & Miller (2004). — « The Pro­Am Revolution: How enthusiasts are changing our economy and society », *Demos*.
[2] Niels & Pedersini (2003). — *Freelance Journalists in the European Media Industry*, International Federation of Journalists.
[3] European Federation of Journalists and European Division of the Media and Entertainment International (2012). — *Mapping Changes in Employment in the Journalism and Media Industry*.
[4] Leteinturier & Mathien (2010). — « Une profession fragilisée: les journalistes français face au marché de l’emploi », *Quaderni* (73).
[5] National Council for the Training of Journalists (2013), *Journalists at work*.
[6] Weaver & Willnat (eds) (2012b). *The Global Journalist in the 21st Century: News People Around the World*.
[7] Abbott, A. (1988). — The System of Professions: an Essay on the Division of Expert Labor
[8] Menger, Pierre­Michel (2009). — Le travail créateur. S’accomplir dans l’incertain, Paris, hautes Etudes ­ Gallimard ­ Seuil.
[9] Marsden, D. (2007). — Labour market segmentation in Britain: the decline of occupational labour markets and the spread of ‘entry tournaments’, London School of Economics and Political Science.
[10] Bastin (2016). — « L’approche morphologique des mondes de l’information : modèles et données pour l’analyse séquentielle de la personnalité des journalistes », *Recherches en communication*, Louvain
[11] Bastin & Francony (2016. — « L’inscription, le masque et la donne?e. Datafication du web et conflits d’interpre?tation autour des donne?es dans un laboratoire invisible des sciences sociales », Revue d’Anthropologie des connaissances.
[12] Bastin & Machut, « Gravitation et dispersion dans les carrie?res des journalistes passe?s par la presse quotidienne nationale », *Temporalite?s*.

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