Exploring key areas of transformation in a South African media organisation
Keywords:Transformation, Media transformation, Media management, Print media, Digital innovation, Online journalism, Social media, Media audiences, Media displacement, Media niche
Understanding the scope, progress and impact of transformation in the media industry in South Africa is important to ensure the success of its implementation. The impact of the digital revolution, the development of new media spheres and the subsequent information explosion brought new angles and variables to the transformation mix and created new challenges for transformative media managers. This study investigated perceptions of media transformation, transformation initiatives, and the extent of transformation activities at the Times Media Group for the period 1994 to 2016. Using the main themes of modern- day media transformation as background to determine perceptions both from management and employees, the research identified areas of best practice, as well as areas of competitive weakness impacting on media management, media audiences and media practitioners. Qualitative data obtained from in-depth interviews and focus groups provided information on different types of media transformation, and the impact thereof on aspects such as ownership, management practices and media content. Results indicated a dedication and commitment to ongoing change and transformation by both media managers and practitioners. It provided valuable insight on how journalists’ perceptions and media practices were impacted by transformation. Specific transformation themes were identified, which could assist media managers with change management processes and to implement meaningful business transformation.