Crisis, What Crisis?

Open access


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.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Åmås Knut Olav (2017). Det norske mediemangfoldet – en styrket mediepolitikk for borgerne [The Norwegian media diversity – a strengthened media policy for the citizens]. NOU 2017:7.

  • Adam Pegie Stark; Quinn Sarah & Edmonds Rick (2007). Eye Tracking the News: A Study of Print and Online Reading. Florida: Poynter.

  • Amabile Teresa M. (1998). How to kill Creativity. Harvard Business Review 76(5): 76-87.

  • Anderson Christopher; Bell Emily & Shirky Clay (2012). Post-Industrial Journalism: Adapting to the Present. New York: Tow Center for Digital Journalism.

  • Anderson Monica (2013). At Newspapers Photographers Feel the Brunt of Job Cuts Pew Research Centre [online]. Available at:

  • Appelgren Ester (2016). Data Journalists Using Facebook. A Study of a Resource Group Created by Journalists for Journalists. Nordicom Review 37(1):1-14.

  • Argyris Chris (1991). Teaching Smart People how to Learn. Harvard Business Review 69(3): 99-109.

  • Bang Henning (2013). Organisasjonskultur. En begrepsavklaring [Organisational culture. A conceptual approach]. Tidsskrift for Norsk psykologforening. 50(4): 326–336.

  • Bateson Gregory (1972). Steps to an Ecology of Mind. San Francisco: Chandler.

  • Benson Rodney & Neveu Érik (2005). Bourdieu and the Journalistic Field. Cambridge: Polity.

  • Bjerknes Fredrik (2012). Rett sted til rett tid. En studie av hvordan visuell ledelse og ulike måter å organisere en fotoavdeling på influerer den visuelle journalistikken i to aviser [Right Place at the right Time. How Visual Leadership and Different Ways to Organize a Photo Department influence the Visual Journalism in two Newspapers]. Master dissertation University of Oslo.

  • Bourdieu Pierre (2011). On Television. Cambridge: Polity Press.

  • Bovey Wayne H. & Hede Andrew (2001). Resistance to Organisational Change: The Role of Defence Mechanisms. Journal of Managerial Psychology 16(7): 534-548.

  • Bowers Mike (2014). ‘Photography requires Skill. It’s sad to see good Fairfax Employees being let go’ The Guardian May 7 2014 [online]. Available at:

  • Deuze Mark & Witschge Tamara (2017). Beyond Journalism: Theorizing the Transformation of Journalism. Journalism [online]: 1-17. Available at <>.

  • Ekvall Göran (1991). The Organizational Culture of Idea-Management: A Creative Climate for the Management of Ideas pp. 73-79 in Henry Jane & Walker David (eds.) Managing Innovation. Newbury park: Sage.

  • Fink Steven L.; Beak Joel & Taddeo Kenneth (1971). Organizational Crisis and Change. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science 7(1): 15-37.

  • Fonn Birgitte (2015). 50 år med journalistutdanning: en historie om akademiseringen av et yrkesfag [50 years with Journalism Education: A Story about the Academisation of a Profession.] Oslo: Cappelen Damm Akademisk.

  • Greenwood Keith & Reinardy Scott (2011). Self-Trained and Self-Motivated: Newspaper Photojournalists strive for Quality during Technological Challenges. Visual Communication Quarterly 18(3): 155–166.

  • Gynnild Astrid (2006). Creative Cycling in the News Profession: A Grounded Theory. PhD dissertation University of Bergen.

  • Hatcher John & Haavik Emily (2013). ‘We Write with Our Hearts’: How Community Identity shapes Norwegian Community Journalists’ News Values. Journalism Practice 8(2): 149-163.

  • Holsánová Jana (2001). Picture Viewing and Picture Description: Two Windows on the Mind. PhD dissertation Lund University.

  • Høst Sigurd (2012). Avisåret 2011. Norwegian open research archives [online]. Available at <>.

  • Isaksen Scott G.; Lauer Kenneth J. & Ekvall Göran (1999). Situational Outlook Questionnaire: A measure of the Climate for Creativity and Change. Psychological Reports 85(2): 665-674.

  • Lindblom Terje (2015). Tracing Changes in the field of Photojournalism – The Swedish field. Paper presented at the conference Nordmedia 2015 Media presence – Media mobilities 13-15 August 2015 at Copenhagen University Department of media cognition and communication Copenhagen.

  • Lowrey Wilson (2002). Word People vs. Picture People: Normative Differences and Strategies for Control over Work among Newsroom Subgroups. Mass Communication & Society 5(4): 411-432.

  • Meeker Mary (2017). Internet trends 2017. Code conference. 31 May 2017 [online]. Available at:

  • Michaelsen Gard (2016). VG kutter 40 årsverk og legger ned de tre siste lokalkontorene. 7 January 2016 [online]. Available at <>.

  • Mitchell W. J. T. (1994). Picture Theory. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

  • Mortensen Tara B. & Keshelashvili Ana (2013). If Everyone with a Camera Can Do This Then What? Professional Photojournalists’ Sense of Professional Threat in the Face of Citizen Photojournalism. Visual Communication Quarterly 20(3): 144-158.

  • Moses Monica (2000). Consumer Mentality. American Editor 808: 6-7.

  • Moxnes Paul (1981). Læring og ressursutvikling i arbeidsmiljøet. Oslo: P. Moxnes.

  • Mullen Benjamin (2016). The New York Times of the future is beginning to take shape. 21 May 2016 [online]. Available at:

  • Mumford Michael D.; Friedrich Tamara L.; Caughron Jay J. & Byrne Cristina L. (2007). Leader Cognition in Real-World Settings: How do Leaders think about Crises? The Leadership Quarterly 18(6): 515-543.

  • Nystrom Paul C. & Starbuck William H. (1984). To avoid Organizational Crises Unlearn. Organizational Dynamics 12: 53-62.

  • Ritchin Fred (2013). Bending the Frame. Photojournalism Documentary and the Citizen. New York: Aperture.

  • Rose Gillian (2012). Visual Methodologies: An Introduction to Researching with Visual Materials. Los Angeles: Sage.

  • Schein Edgar H. (2010). Organizational Culture and Leadership. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

  • Simonsen Anne Hege (2015). Tragediens bilder. En prosessuell analyse av nyhetsfotografi fra 22 juli. [Images from a Tragedy. A Processual Analysis of News Photography from the Terror Attacks on July 22.] PhD dissertation University of Bergen.

  • Solaroli Marco (2015). Toward a New Visual Culture of the News: Professional Photojournalism Digital Post-Production and the Symbolic Struggle for Distinction. Digital Journalism 3(4): 513–532.

  • Starbuck William H.; Greve Arent & Hedberg Bo (1978). Responding to Crises. Journal of Business Administration 9(2): 111-137.

  • Sturken Marita & Cartwright Lisa (2009). Practices of Looking. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Quinn Sarah Dickinson (2012). New Poynter Eyetrack Research reveals how People read News on Tablets. Poynter Institute 17 October 2012 [online]. Available at <>.

  • Quinn Sarah Dickinson (2007). Looking Back at Eyetrack: Poynter’s History of studying Reader Habits. Poynter institute 14 March 2007 [online]. Available at <>.

  • Zelizer Barbie (2010). About to Die: How News Images Move the Public. Oxford University Press.

Journal information
Impact Factor

CiteScore 2018: 0.54

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.223
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.270

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 275 151 4
PDF Downloads 132 83 2