Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Patrice M. Buzzanell

Committee Chair

Patrice M. Buzzanell

Committee Member 1

Stacey Connaughton

Committee Member 2

Jane Natt


A career narrative is a story that helps a person define who she is, and how she should act, within the context of career (Meijers & Lengelle, 2012). This thesis is an analysis of three distinct, yet related, career narratives: a metanarrative, a mesonarrative, and a micronarrative. I examine the field of journalism through metanarratives that reflect the sea-change brought about by the advent of the Internet and the production of on-demand news (see 111th Congress, 2009; Rainey & Wellman, 2012; Weldon, 2008). Using the story of two serial killers, I show how the industry has begun to think differently about doing news between the time these men were arrested in 1999, and 2012, when the revelation of abandoned wells that contained the remains of more murdered women and children brought their story once more into the headlines. The mesonarrative has been identified through thematic analysis of interviews conducted with eleven newsroom leaders. Within the context of these leaders, I examine new practices newspapers have taken to remain relevant, and how these changes personally affect the way these newsroom leaders see themselves, their worth, and their futures. Finally, my own career story--and the associated serial murder case--provides the subject matter of this thesis's micronarrative, affording a narrative of my own transition out of the field of journalism and into new career opportunities (Inkson, Khapova, & Parker, 2007). This project operates at the nexus of organizational communication and areas of organization, career, and narrative. Its key theoretical contribution explores how organizational narratives can shape and be shaped by career narratives of those who work within these organizations collectively and individually. These interlocking narrative processes can also inform how organizational communication researchers and the people who work in changing occupations think and communicate about organizations, industries, and occupations that are undergoing critical changes. Furthermore, attention to micro-, meso-, and metanarratives of journalism can prompt restorying efforts that meet ongoing socio-technical transformations as well as the human opportunities and costs afforded by such change.