A study on intergroup bias in Midwestern newsrooms

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Rooney, Kate E.
Filak, Vincent F.
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Thesis (M.A.)
Department of Journalism
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Work groups are a major component of newspaper newsrooms. Similar to other organizations, newsrooms divide employees into work groups based on work roles and titles such as reporters, graphic artists, and photographers. Studies have shown that although intergroup bias can help group members to create and maintain a positive view themselves, it can also contribute to members' levels of alienation toward opposing work groups.Based on the premise that group-based interactions may be negatively affecting newspaper productivity, the purpose of this study was to assess the relationships between reporters, designers, and photographers in Midwestern newsrooms. From this study, it was found that ingroup favoritism is more prominent among reporters than designers and photographers. It was also determined that education plays a role in the formation of in- and out-groups in the newsroom. Additionally, it was found that job satisfaction has little or no bearing on an employee's level of bias or ingroup favoritism within the newsroom.