Crisis, What Crisis?

Open access

Abstract

As in most countries, Norwegian and Danish media houses struggle to adjust to new technological, economic and political realities. Photo departments have seen their budgets cut and people have been let go. It looks, however, as if the organisational response to the crisis is more nuanced than it may seem at first glance. We have examined three media organisations, with a reputation for an above average interest in photojournalism, through the filter of organisational psychology. By looking at the conjunction between organisational culture, the present climate, and what we may call visual editorial competence, which relates to a photo department’s relative power within the organisation, we try to shed some light on when and why photo departments are able to implement their own crisis management and thus influence their own situation. Our findings suggest that photo departments with a strong culture are more resilient to a climate marked by disruptive change. The overall visual editorial competence does, however, impact their manoeuvring space within the organisation.

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