What do journalists think of the future of journalistic work?

paperinsight ViewpointInterested to know what journalists think of their future? Robert G Picard of the Oxford University, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism has produced an interesting and insightful report on, ‘Journalists’ Perceptions on the Future of Journalistic Work‘.

Of those journalist which responded to the survey (509 journalists across the Western world), the conclusions were:

  • Journalism will be a harder job with less institutional support in the future.
  • Journalism will not be less satisfying or less independent.
  • There are concerns that journalists will have to work harder and have to think more about personal branding and entrepreneurship, and that they cannot count on stable employment, full-time jobs, or indeed life-long journalistic careers.
  • The respondents generally see journalism as a relatively stable collection of fundamental practices and techniques that is not dependent on medium or existentially threatened.

Picard points out that the results are striking for three reasons:

  • Journalists are clearly not in denial about the direct impact fundamental changes in the media will have for journalism as a form of work.
  • The respondents recognise that these changes are likely to make journalism more stressful, individualistic, and less stable, but they are not particularly pessimistic about the future of journalism as a professional practice.
  • The results are generally consistent across gender, age, and how long people have worked as journalists.

Picard concludes that many journalists are very clear eyed about how their profession is changing, and are not stuck in the past as some commentators assume.

He states that the challenge for news media, individual journalists, and journalistic professional associations, then, is to make sure that the often radical changes involved in journalism moving from 20th-century organisations to 21st-century ones are accompanied by the development of strong forms of 21st-century journalistic professionalism and the means to support them.

To view the detailed report, please click here.

Why are IKEA and Apple buying up forests …. lots of forests?

paperinsight bioeconomyAn interesting article appeared in Gizmodo by Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan giving a perspective on the interests of technology and retail companies in forests, driven by conservation and sustainability pressures and their drive to use renewable resources.

Recently, Ikea (83,000 acres) and Apple (36,000 acres) bought up significant tracts of forest with the intention of managing them as a renewable resource.

In a quote attributed to Apple’s Lisa Jackson, she states:
‘We are in the midst of one of the greatest land transfers in history. In the last 15 years, we’ve already lost 23 million acres of forestland that provided the pulp, paper, and solid wood material for products we all use. That’s roughly an area the size of Maine. As land continues to be sold and change hands at an alarming rate, an estimated 45 million more acres are currently in the crosshairs of development.’

Apple and IKEA are not alone in eyeing up (buying up) future sources of renewables which can be used in the production of energy, food products or products many of which were traditionally derived from fossil fuels such as oil, coal and gas.

________

For more information on why companies are buying up forests, there is also an article in the Wall Street Journal concerning IKEA –> click here

The interest & investment in nanocrystalline cellulose continues – two new commitments are made in Europe

paperinsight bioeconomyOn the 11th March, 2015, Sappi Limited announced that it will build a pilot-scale plant for the low-cost production of Cellulose NanoFibrils (nanocellulose) at the Brightlands Chemelot Campus in Sittard-Geleen in the Netherlands.

The pilot plant is expected to be operational within nine months and the raw material would be supplied from any of Sappi’s Saiccor, Ngodwana and Cloquet dissolving wood pulp plants. The pilot plant will test the manufacturing of dry re-dispersible Cellulose NanoFibrils (CNF) using the proprietary technology developed by Sappi and Edinburgh Napier University. The CNF produced by Sappi will have unique morphology, specifically modified for either hydrophobic or hydrophilic applications. Products produced using Sappi’s CNF will be used in areas such as lighter and stronger fibre-reinforced composites and plastics, in food and pharmaceutical applications, and in rheology modifiers as well as in barrier and other paper and coating applications.

The location of the pilot plant at Brightlands Chemelot Campus provides Sappi with easy access to multiple partners with whom Sappi will seek to co-develop CNF-containing products across a range of applications.

The pilot plant is the precursor for Sappi to consider the construction of a commercial CNF plant and fits with Sappi’s strategy which includes seeking growth opportunities by producing innovative performance materials from renewable resources.

Please click here for the detailed Sappi announcement.

In another announcement, MoRe Research, Holmen and SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden, stated that they are investing in, ‘Europe’s first pilot facility for nanocrystalline cellulose‘, in Örnsköldsvik, Sweden.

The role of each of the participants can be summed up as follows:

  • The pilot facility is located directly adjacent to MoRe who have in-depth knowledge of cellulose, and wide-ranging experience of pilot operations and extensive laboratory and analytical resources.
  • As SP operates in many different sectors it will be able to pave the way for commercially interesting applications beyond the forestry sector’s traditional boundaries.
  • MoRe and SP will have central roles in the construction and operation of the facility, which is expected to be in place during the first half of 2016.
  • The operation in the pilot plant is based on technology developed by an Israeli start-up company Melodea.
  • Holmen is working actively to develop new products based on raw materials from forests and are participating as a catalyst in the creation of the facility and in their role as a co-owner of Melodea

The facility will allow interested companies to develop nanocrystalline cellulose from cellulose-based material on a large scale.  As with the Sappi announcement, the interesting material properties of nanocrystalline cellulose were emphasised, and examples were given for potential applications – as a building material, in biocomposites, printed electronics and dye additives.

The plant is supported financially by Västernorrland County Administrative Board, Holmen, the Kempe Foundations, SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden and the Önnesjö Foundation.

Please click here for the SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden announcement.