The SAGE Handbook of Digital Journalism


Tamara Witschge, C.W. Anderson, David Domingo & Alfred Hermida

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    List of Figures and Tables

    Notes on the Editors and Contributors

    The Editors

    C. W. Anderson PhD is an Associate Professor at the College of Staten Island (CUNY). Since 2009, he has also served as a Visiting Fellow at Yale Law School's Information Society Project. From 2009–2010, he was a Knight Media Policy Fellow at the New America Foundation. He has published academic articles in Political Communication, Journalism, and numerous anthologies on digital media. He blogs regularly for the Nieman Journalism Lab and the Atlantic Online. He is the author of Rebuilding the News: Metropolitan Journalism in the Digital Age (Temple University Press, 2013) and the Journalism: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford University Press, forthcoming) (with Len Downie and Michael Schudson.)

    David Domingo is Chair of Journalism at the Department of Information and Communication Sciences at Université libre de Bruxelles. Previously, he was Visiting Assistant Professor at University of Iowa, USA, Visiting Researcher at University of Tampere, Finland, and Senior Lecturer at Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Catalonia. His research focuses on innovation processes in online communication, with a special interest in the (re)definition of journalistic practices and identities. He is coauthor of Participatory Journalism: Guarding Open Gates at Online Newspapers (Wiley-Blackwell, 2011) and co-editor of Making Online News (Peter Lang, 2011).

    Alfred Hermida PhD is an award-winning online news pioneer, digital media scholar and journalism educator. He is Director and Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Journalism, University of British Columbia, Canada, where his research focuses on the reconfiguration of journalism, social media and emerging forms of digital storytelling. His most recent book, Tell Everyone: Why We Share and Why It Matters, (DoubleDay Canada, 2014) won the 2015 National Business Book Award in Canada. He is co-author of Participatory Journalism: Guarding Open Gates at Online Newspapers, (Wiley-Blackwell, 2011), and his work has been published in Digital Journalism, Journalism Studies, the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication and the Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media. He was a BBC News journalist for 16 years, including four as a correspondent in North Africa and the Middle East, before going on to be a founding news editor of the BBC News website in 1997.

    Tamara Witschge is a Rosalind Franklin Fellow at the University of Groningen, Faculty of Arts since February 2012. From 2009–2012 she was a Lecturer at the School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies, Cardiff University. Before that (2007–2009) she was a Research Associate at Goldsmiths Leverhulme Media Research Centre and worked on project ‘Spaces of News'. This project explored the ways in which technological, economic and social change is reconfiguring news journalism. She has published widely on this topic, and is co-author of the recently published book Changing Journalism (Routledge, 2011). Her PhD thesis ‘(In)difference Online’ (2007) examined the openness of public debate on contested issues. Tamara is the General Secretary of European Communication Research and Education Association (ECREA) and a member of the editorial board of the international journals New Media and Society, Social media + Society, Platform: the Journal of Media and Communication, and the German edition of the Global Media Journal.

    The Contributors

    Laura Ahva is a Postdoctoral Researcher interested in journalism, audience studies, participation, and the public sphere. She has published in various journals, including Journalism, and has been involved in editing a double special issue of Digital Journalism and Journalism Practice on the theories of digital journalism. She is based in the School of Communication, Media and Theatre at the University of Tampere, Finland.

    Stuart Allan is Professor of Journalism and Communication as well as Head of the School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies at Cardiff University, Wales. Recent books include Citizen Witnessing: Revisioning Journalism in Times of Crisis (Polity Press, 2013), as well as the edited The Routledge Companion to News and Journalism (Routledge, revised edition, 2012) and Citizen Journalism: Global Perspectives, Volume 2 (Peter Lang, co-edited with E. Thorsen, 2014). He is currently engaged in research examining digital imagery in news reporting, amongst other projects.

    Renee Barnes is a Senior Lecturer and Program Coordinator for Journalism at the University of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia. She is a member of the university's research cluster Engage, which is concerned with researching and developing interactive technologies where users can become involved, informed and inspired to change their world. Her research interests are focused on the online news audience, alternative and independent news media and social media.

    Aviv Barnoy is a PhD student at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel. His research interests include journalistic knowledge, journalism practices, news sources, news economics and public relations. He received his M.A in Communication Studies from Tel Aviv University.

    Yana Breindl is a Researcher at the Institute of Political Science and the Göttingen Centre for Digital Humanities, Georg-August Universität Göttingen. Previously, she was a Wiener-Anspach Post-doctoral Fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute and completed her PhD on digital rights campaigning surrounding EU regulations at the Université Libre de Bruxelles. She has published extensively on digital rights activism and online mobilisations. Her most recent research projects focus on the regulation of Internet blocking in liberal democracies.

    J. Scott Brennen is a PhD candidate in the School of Media and Journalism at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA. His research interests include science and technology studies, journalism studies, and media studies. His current research concerns media and representation practices in networked scientific collaborations. He earned his MA in Mass Communication from University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and his BA from Grinnell College, Grinnell, IA, USA.

    Axel Bruns is an Australian Research Council Future Fellow and Professor in the Digital Media Research Centre at Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia. He is the author of Blogs, Wikipedia, Second Life and Beyond: From Production to Produsage (2008) and Gatewatching: Collaborative Online News Production (2005), and a co-editor of The Routledge Companion to Social Media and Politics (2016), Twitter and Society (2014), A Companion to New Media Dynamics (2012), and Uses of Blogs (2006). His research examines the uses of social media in political communication, crisis communication, and other contexts, and he is leading the development of new research methods for large-scale social media analytics. His research website is at, and he tweets at @snurb_dot_info.

    Bart Cammaerts is Associate Professor at the Department of Media and Communications of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). His research focuses on the relationship between media as well as communication technologies and resistance with particular emphasis on media strategies of activists, representations of protest, alternative cultures and issues relating to media power, mediation and public-ness. He publishes widely and his most recent books include: Youth Participation in Democratic Life: Stories of Hope and Disillusion (co-authored with Michael Bruter, Shakuntala Banaji, Sarah Harrison and Nick Anstead, Palgrave MacMillan, 2015) and Mediation and Protest Movements (eds with Alice Matoni and Patrick McCurdy, Intellect, 2013).

    Matt Carlson is Associate Professor of Communication at Saint Louis University, Missouri, USA, where his research examines the changing conditions of contemporary journalism, with a particular interest in metajournalistic discourse and the production of meanings about the news. He is author of the books Journalistic Authority and On the Condition of Anonymity, editor of Boundaries of Journalism with Seth C. Lewis and Journalists, Sources, and Credibility with Bob Franklin, and has published numerous journal articles and book chapters.

    Nick Couldry is a Sociologist of Media and Culture. He is currently Professor of Media, Communications and Social Theory, and Head of the Department of Media and Communications at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He is the author or editor of twelve books including most recently The Mediated Construction of Reality (Polity, 2016, with Andreas Hepp), Ethics of Media (Palgrave, 2013, coedited with Mirca Madianou and Amit Pinchevski), and Media, Society, World: Social Theory and Digital Media Practice (Polity, 2012).

    Irene Costera Meijer is a Professor of Journalism Studies at the VU University Amsterdam, the Netherlands. She managed several research projects which share a user/audience centered approach regarding news, coined ‘Valuable Journalism'. She published widely about popular culture and journalism aiming to open up the profession as well as Journalism Studies to the perspectives, experiences and desires of audiences and users beyond clicks and hits, shares, ratings, circulation figures and beyond the aims of marketers. Her research website is

    Juliette De Maeyer is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Communication at Université de Montréal, Canada, where her research focuses on the intersection of journalism and technology, on the discourses about technological change in journalism, and on the materiality of newsmaking. Her most recent work has been published in journals such as Journalism, Digital Journalism and New Media & Society.

    Raul Ferrer Conill is a PhD candidate in Media and Communication Studies at Karlstad University, Sweden. His current research focuses on the introduction of gamification into mobile and digital news consumption. Other research interests cover digital journalism, convergence, native advertising, and social media.

    James F. Hamilton is an Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Entertainment & Media Studies in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia, USA. His research focuses on the history, theory and practice of alternative media and democratic communication. Dr Hamilton's books include Democratic Communications: Formations, Projects, Possibilities (Lexington Books, 2008; paperback edition 2009) and Alternative Journalism (Sage, 2009), which is co-written with Chris Atton.

    David Harte is a Senior Lecturer in Media and Communications and Award Leader for the MA in Social Media at Birmingham City University, UK. His main research interests are on the role that community news websites play in fostering citizenship. He has a background in working with local and regional policymakers on developing the creative economy and has managed projects with a focus on supporting creative businesses.

    Heikki Heikkilä is a Senior Researcher focusing on comparative journalism research, media accountability, and digital journalism. He has contributed to The Handbook of Global Online Journalism and the journals Journalism, European Journal of Communication, and Javnost/The Public. He is based in the School of Communication, Media and Theatre at the University of Tampere, Finland.

    Beate Josephi is an Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of Sydney. Her research, amongst others, queries the role of democracy in journalism as shown in her guest-edited issue of Journalism on ‘Decoupling Journalism and Democracy’ (2013). Publications include Journalism Education in Countries with Limited Media Freedom (2010), chapters in international handbooks on journalism and numerous journal articles.

    Anu Kantola is Professor of Media and Communication Studies at the University of Helsinki, Finland. Her recent work has focused on the changing forms of power, public life and professions in liquid modernity. She has published several books in Finland and her work appears in journals such as Media, Culture & Society, Journalism, European Journal of Cultural Studies, Nordicom Review, Acta Sociologica, New Political Economy, Management Learning, Journal of Political Power, and Memory Studies.

    Michael Karlsson is a Professor at Karlstad University, and is interested in digital journalism and is widely published in journals such as Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, New Media & Society, and Journalism Studies.

    Daniel Kreiss is Assistant Professor in the School of Media and Journalism at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA. His research explores how changes in media and technology shape contemporary political communication and journalism. He is the author of Prototype Politics: Technology-intensive Campaigning and the Data of Democracy (Oxford University Press, 2016) andTaking Our Country Back: The Crafting of Networked Politics from Howard Dean to Barack Obama (Oxford University Press, 2012).

    Anders Olof Larsson is Associate Professor at Westerdals – Oslo School of Arts, Communication and Technology. Larsson was previously a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Oslo, Norway and received his PhD from Uppsala University, Sweden in 2012. Larsson's research interests include the use of online interactivity and social media by societal institutions and their audiences, online political communication and methodology, especially quantitative methods. Larsson has published on these topics in academic journals like New Media & Society, Journalism Practice, The Information Society and Convergence. His website can be found at

    Seth C. Lewis is the Shirley Papé Chair in Electronic and Emerging Media in the School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon, USA, as well as Visiting Fellow at Yale Law School's Information Society Project. His widely published research explores the digital transformation of journalism, with a focus on conceptualizing human – technology interactions and media innovation processes associated with data, code, analytics, social media, and related phenomena. He is editor of Journalism in an Era of Big Data: Cases, Concepts, and Critiques (Taylor & Francis, forthcoming) and co-editor of Boundaries of Journalism: Professionalism, Practices, and Participation (Routledge, 2015). He is on the editorial boards of New Media & Society, Social Media + Society, Digital Journalism, and Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, among other journals.

    Wiebke Loosen is a Senior Researcher for journalism research at the Hans Bredow Institute for Media Research in Hamburg (Germany) and Lecturer at the University of Hamburg. She has made various contributions to theoretical and empirical research in the field of journalism's transformation in the internet age, including topics such as digital journalism, cross-media journalism, the ‘social mediatization’ of journalism, and methodology. Wiebke Loosen's current research includes work on audience participation in journalism, the changing journalism/audience-relationship, data journalism, and algorithmically-constructed public spheres. Further information on her work can be found on the website of the Hans Bredow Institute (, and you can follow her on Twitter @WLoosen.

    Sharon Meraz is an Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Communication at the University of Illinois, Chicago, USA. Her research interests reside in the interplay of political communication, media theories, and social media. She has published research on participatory politics and evolved media effect theories in technologies such as blogs, Twitter and Facebook. Her work in these areas has been published in such journals as the Journal of Information Technology and Politics, New Media & Society, the International Journal of Press/Politics, the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, and Journalism, to name a few.

    Meredith Metzler is a PhD student in the School of Journalism & Mass Communication at University of Wisconsin–Madison, USA. Her research interests include political communication, journalism studies/media sociology, and media ecology. She earned her MA in Media, Culture, and Communication from NYU and her BA from Carleton College, Northfield, Minnesota, USA.

    Hallvard Moe is Professor of Media Studies at the University of Bergen, Norway. His research interests include media policy, democratic theory and television studies. His most recent book is The Media Welfare State: Nordic Media in the Digital Era (University of Michigan Press, 2014), co-authored with Trine Syvertsen, Gunn Enli and Ole J. Mj⊘s. Moe is currently editing (with Hilde Van den Bulck) a collection of essays on the history of teletext in Europe.

    Jérémie Nicey is Associate Professor at l'École Publique de Journalisme de Tours; he is a member and cofounder of the research team Prim (Pratiques et Ressources de l'Information et des Médiations) at Université François-Rabelais de Tours, and research associate at laboratory CIM, team MCPN (Paris 3). He was previously a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris 3 in a research project on the archives of Agence France-Presse (AFP) and the participatory news photo agency Citizenside. His research focuses on media practices (he was coauthor of Lexique subjectif de l'homme informant, Editions de l'Amandier, 2011) and on the production of international news (he coedited From NWICO to WSIS: 30 Years of Communication Geopolitics, 2012), whether it is done by professional practitioners or not.

    Rasmus Kleis Nielsen is Director of Research at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford. He is a frequent speaker at both academic conferences and industry events, and has taught at universities in Denmark, Germany, the UK, and the USA. His first scholarly monograph, Ground Wars: Personalized Communication in Political Campaigns (Princeton University Press, 2012) won the American Political Science Association's Doris Graber Award in 2014 for the best book in political communication in previous ten years. He has edited five books and written more than 20 academic articles and book chapters since 2010. From 2015, he has served as Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Press/Politics, the premier academic journal of international research on the intersection between news media and politics.

    Henrik Örnebring is Professor of Media and Communication at Karlstad University, Sweden, where he is also Director of NODE, the Ander Centre for Research on News and Opinion in the Digital Era. His work on journalism history, comparative journalism, and journalism and technology has appeared in journals such as European Journal of Communication, Journalism Studies, Journalism Practice, Journalism: Theory, Practice, Criticism, and International Journal of Press/Politics. His book Newsworkers: Comparing Journalists in Six European Countries is due from Bloomsbury/Continuum in 2016.

    Taylor Owen is Assistant Professor of Digital Media and Global Affairs at the University of British Columbia, Canada and a Senior Fellow at the Columbia Journalism School, New York. He was previously the Research Director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University, a Fellow in the Genocide Studies Program at Yale University, a Research Fellow at the Center for Global Governance at the London School of Economics and a Researcher at the International Peace Research Institute, Oslo, Norway. He sits on the Board of Directors of the Center for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), Ontario, Canada. His doctorate is from the University of Oxford where he was a Trudeau Scholar. His research and writing focuses on the intersection between information technology and international affairs and he is the author, most recently, of Disruptive Power: The Crisis of the State in the Digital Age (Oxford University Press, 2015). His work can be found at

    Zizi Papacharissi is Professor and Head of the Communication Department at the University of Illinois–Chicago, USA. Her books include A Private Sphere: Democracy in a Digital Age (Polity Press, 2010), A Networked Self: Identity, Community, and Culture on Social Network Sites (Routledge, 2010), Journalism and Citizenship: New Agendas (Taylor & Francis, 2009), and most recently, Affective Publics: Sentiment, Technology and Politics (Oxford University Press, 2014). She has also authored over 50 journal articles, book chapters or reviews, and serves on the editorial board of eleven journals, including the Journal of Communication, Human Communication Research, and New Media & Society. Papacharissi is the editor of the Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, and the new open access Sage journal Social Media + Society.

    Steve Paulussen is an Assistant Professor in Media and Journalism Studies at the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Antwerp, Belgium, where he is a member of the research group Media, Policy and Culture. The common thread in his research is the study of changes in journalism and the news. Most of his publications focus on different aspects of online journalism, newswork routines, new media consumption and newsroom innovation. He is co-author of the book Participatory Journalism: Guarding Open Gates at Online Newspapers (Wiley-Blackwell, 2011).

    Chris Peters is Associate Professor of Media and Communication at Aalborg University's Copenhagen campus, Denmark. His research investigates the changing experiences, conceptions and spatiotemporal uses of information in a digital era and the sociocultural transformations associated with this in everyday life. His publications include Rethinking Journalism (Routledge, 2013), Retelling Journalism (Peeters, 2014) and Rethinking Journalism Again (Routledge, 2016) (all co-edited with Marcel Broersma) as well as numerous journal articles and chapters.

    Zvi Reich is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel and a former journalist. His research interests include journalism studies, journalistic knowledge and expertise, news sources, technology use among journalists, epistemology and authorship. Professor Reich received his PhD in Communication and Political Science from the Hebrew University, Jerusalem in 2004.

    Sue Robinson (PhD, Temple University, Philadelphia, 2007) is an Associate Professor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison's School of Journalism & Mass Communication where she teaches and researches digital technologies such as social media, press theory, media ecology, and qualitative methods. She is widely published in journals such as the Journal of Communication and Journalism & Communication Monographs.

    Adrienne Russell is an Associate Professor of Media, Film and Journalism Studies and Emergent Digital Practices at the University of Denver, Colorado, USA. Her research and teaching focus on the digital-age evolution of activist communication and journalism. She is the author of the book Networked: A Contemporary History of News in Transition (Polity, 2011), and numerous articles and book chapters for both the popular and scholarly publications. She is also co-editor of the book International Blogging: Identity, Politics and Networked Publics (Peter Lang, 2008). More on her current projects can be found at

    David M. Ryfe is Director and Professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Iowa. He has written widely in the areas of political communication, public deliberation, and the history and sociology of news. His most recent book, Can Journalism Survive? is the most comprehensive ethnographic investigation of American newsrooms in a generation. He is currently working on a study of regional online-only news sites.

    Jan-Hinrik Schmidt is Senior Researcher for Digital Interactive Media and Political Communication at the Hans-Bredow-Institute for Media Research in Hamburg, Germany. His research interests focus on the practices and consequences of social media, mainly the structural changes in identity management, social networks, the public sphere, and privacy. He has authored various journal articles as well as monographs of these subjects, with his most recent book Social Media aiming explicitly at a non-academic audience. Detailed information on his publications, research projects and activities can be found on his blog (, and you can follow him on Twitter @janschmidt.

    Kim Christian Schr⊘der is Professor of Communication at the Department of Communication and Arts, Roskilde University, Denmark. His co-authored and co-edited books in English include Audience transformations: Shifting audience positions in late modernity (2014), Museum communication and social media: The connected museum (2013), Researching audiences (2003), Media cultures (1992), and The Language of Advertising (1985). His current research interests comprise the theoretical, methodological and analytical aspects of audience uses and experiences of media, with particular reference to the challenges of methodological pluralism. His recent work explores different methods for mapping news consumption.

    Eugenia Siapera is Chair of the MA Social Media Communications at the School of Communications in Dublin City University, Ireland. Her research interests include social media, journalism, political communication, multiculturalism, and social and political theory. She has written and edited five books, most recently the collection The Handbook of Global Online Journalism (with Andreas Veglis, Wiley, 2012). She is also the author of several journal articles and book chapters. Siapera is currently working on the second edition of her book Understanding New Media (Sage, 2011) and her latest article ‘#GazaUnderAttack: Twitter, Palestine and diffused war’ has appeared in Information, Communication & Society in 2015.

    Helle Sj⊘vaag is Research Professor at the University of Bergen, Norway. Research areas include journalism, online news, media diversity and regulation. Sj⊘vaag has published extensively in international journals, such as Journalism Studies, Journalism Practice, Convergence, International Journal of Cultural Policy, Journal of Media Business Studies, and Nordicom Review.

    Eirik Stavelin holds a post-doc position at the Department of Information Science and Media Studies at the University of Bergen, Norway. In his doctoral work Stavelin focused on the journalistic practices and potential in the overlap between computing and journalism. His research interests include computational journalism, computational social science, web technology, data mining, information visualization and web culture.

    Steen Steensen is Professor of Journalism and Head of the Department of Journalism and Media Studies, Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences, Norway. His research interests include developments in digital journalism, the history and current trends in narrative journalism, and the philosophy of journalism. He has published several books and his research has been published in journals such as New Media & Society, Journalism Studies, Journalism Practice, Digital Journalism, Journalism:Theory, Practice and Criticism, and Literary Journalism Studies. He has recently guest edited, together with Laura Ahva, a double special issue of Digital Journalism and Journalism Practice (1:2015) on Theories of Journalism in a Digital Age. He has a background as a journalist for Norwegian newspapers, and is the editor of the Norwegian media and communcations journal Norsk medietidsskrift.

    Tim P. Vos is Chair and Associate Professor of Journalism Studies and Coordinator of Global Research Initiatives at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. He is co-author (with Pamela J. Shoemaker) of Gatekeeping Theory (Routledge, 2009) and co-editor (with François Heinderyckx) of Gatekeeping in Transition (Routledge, 2015). Vos has published widely on roles of journalism, media sociology and gatekeeping, media history, and media policy. He focuses on factors that shape journalistic content and journalism as a social institution, paying particular attention to the theoretical issues of historical explanation.

    Karin Wahl-Jorgensen is Professor in the Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies at Cardiff University, Wales, and also serves as Director of Research Environment and Development in the school. Her research focuses on journalism and citizenship, and she has authored or edited five books, including, most recently Disasters and the Media (Peter Lang, 2012, with Mervi Pantti and Simon Cottle), and Handbook of Journalism Studies (Routledge, 2009, co-edited with Thomas Hanitzsch). She is currently working on Emotions, Media and Politics for Polity Press. She has authored more than 40 journal articles and 20 book chapters.

    Stephen J.A. Ward is an internationally recognized media ethicist. He is an educator, consultant, keynote speaker and award-winning author with extensive experience in media, both academically and professionally. He is Distinguished Lecturer in Ethics and former director of the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of British Columbia in Canada. He is founding director of the Center for Journalism Ethics at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, USA and courtesy professor in the School of Journalism at the University of Oregon.

    Oscar Westlund, PhD, is Associate Professor at the University of Gothenburg. From April 2015 to February 2016 he was Research Leader for the Media Inquiry at the Government Offices of Sweden, Ministry of Culture. His assignment included, among other things, to co-author one book and serve as editor for another, both published in the Swedish government's series of official inquiries. Westlund has researched the production, distribution and consumption of news through various methods for a decade, focusing especially on the shift towards mobile media. Westlund has published more than 60 books, chapters and reports, and articles in more than 20 different international journals. He serves on the editorial boards of Digital Journalism, International Journal on Media Management, Journal of Media Business Studies, Journal of Media Innovations, and Mobile Media & Communication.

    Victor Wiard is Researcher and PhD candidate at Université libre de Bruxelles, where his works focuses on studying the production, circulation and uses of local news in Brussels, online and offline, and the actors involved in those news processes

    Andy Williams is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies at Cardiff University, Wales. His principal research interests relate to the social importance of local and hyperlocal news, citizen-produced news content, and the interaction between news and public relations (especially in science, environment, and health news).


    A matter of discipline

    Handbooks such as these are often seen as providing the state of the art for a discipline, tracing its boundaries and exploring its history and future. They are often interpreted as the canonical voices in debates that mark the discipline. Readers of this book will almost certainly be aware of the many debates surrounding the history and future of journalism (Downie and Schudson 2009; Lee-Wright et al. 2012; Peters and Broersma 2013; Anderson et al. 2012) and even of Journalism Studies (Zelizer 2004; Boczkowski and Anderson 2016). And we certainly hope that this Handbook will help scholars reflect on the historical ways in which journalism has been theorized and researched. Even more importantly, we aspire for this Handbook to advance the theorizing and research of journalism for many years to come.

    At the same time, we do not want this book to perform the role often ascribed to handbooks: as an authoritative account of the history of the Journalism Studies discipline and the issues that the discipline is currently facing. Whether we can speak of Journalism Studies as a discipline (or Digital Journalism Studies as a sub-discipline) is not really what we are most concerned about in this Handbook. For us, there is a more pressing need that this Handbook fills: it aims to create room for new ways of looking at journalism in the twenty-first century, rather than neatly trace the boundaries of the field. We embrace the ambiguity, unease, and uncertainty of the field.

    If anything, then, this Handbook should be read as an invitation to (re)consider the field, its methods, and its theories. In 2000, Barbie Zelizer noted the need ‘for a more expansive world of journalism scholarship than that which exists today … to promote the growth of Journalism Studies along routes not necessarily traveled in the existing scholarly terrain’ (p. 9). Fifteen years later, we still consider this to be one of the most pressing needs of the discipline. At the same time, the collection of chapters that is before you shows both the richness of the perspectives available to scholars and serves as an invitation to consider and develop novel paths for insight and analysis. In a very real sense we mean for this Handbook to be used and not simply to be thought about, and this is why the chapters are written in a way that will hopefully encourage their practical application.

    In line with this call for new perspectives, for us the main strength of this Handbook lies in its multivocality and the existence of occasionally irreconcilable and contradictory findings, calls or statements between chapters (and at times even within chapters). It should be clear that we do not aim to provide a new paradigm for the field. On the contrary, our position is that we need to move away from a consensual understanding of journalism in Journalism Studies and towards a much more diverse understanding of news and journalism. Difference, divergence, and diversity are core themes of the Handbook. This trend is occurring both in the study of journalism and in the empirical reality that we as scholars study; our embrace of multiplicity is thus true to our object of analysis. If anything comes out of this collection, it is the multiplicity and the complexity of our objects of study, our approaches, theories, and methodologies.

    The ‘Digital’ in Digital Journalism

    Though the aim of the book is not to develop a sub-discipline for Digital Journalism Studies, this handbook does have ‘Digital’ in its title. The rise of digital technologies and cultures (and their consequences for journalism and Journalism Studies) inevitably lies at the center of this Handbook. The complementary chapters explain that when we want to explore and analyze digital journalism, we need to address changing contexts and new practices, need to reconsider theories and develop research strategies. However, the changes addressed here do not imply that with digital everything is unmoored from its groundings. Nor do we wish to imply that before digital technologies were introduced journalism was a stable concept and stable practice. In a way, these issues do not matter for the Handbook. The Handbook decidedly does not explore similarities and/or differences between traditional and digital news and journalism, nor do we aim to establish cause and consequence. The digital environment is taken as a given and traditional journalism does not function as a benchmark, for either the editors or the contributors.

    Rather than drawing lines between traditional and future journalism, mainstream and alternative, digital and non- or pre-digital journalism, this Handbook shows the complexity and multiplicity of the journalistic contexts and practices. The fundamental changes that have transpired in the journalistic field over the past few decades are not easily traced to one causal factor, whether technological, cultural, social, or economic. Nor do the trends in the field neatly point to one direction for journalism practice, and consequently there is not one path for Journalism Studies. To do justice to our field of study, we need theories and methods that are as complex as our object of study (see Chapter 36 – Costera Meijer), that embrace its dispersion and hybridity (see Chapter 11 – Hamilton).

    The many changes that have occurred in the field cannot be simply reduced to technological change, and as such the term ‘digital’ may be misleading. In this Handbook we introduce the term ‘digital’ as a shortcut to refer to the whole world of cultural, economic, social, and technological aspects of the contemporary field of journalism. That there have been fundamental changes in parallel to the introduction and rise of digital technologies is beyond doubt. These are not limited to the field of journalism, with many of these changes also happening at the level of society.

    Structure of the Handbook

    To do justice to the contextual nature of the changes relating to journalism, Part I of the Handbook deals with the ‘Changing Contexts'. It aims to provide insight into a number of what we consider to be important domains relating to journalism, addressing questions of democracy, power, representation, money, and ethics. A central theme running through this part is how fundamental aspects of journalism are questioned, contested, or reinforced in a hybrid digital media environment where a diversity of actors are present. The chapters map out the context of digital journalism, featuring the tensions between change and continuity. In order to make sense of contemporary complexity, authors in Part I provide historical perspective and a sensitivity to local circumstances in order to put the mechanisms, factors, and processes of change in the context of the evolution of the profession, the industry, and society.

    Following this part highlighting the changing context of journalism, Part II then hones in on the evolution of ‘News Practices in the Digital Era'. Rather than simply identifying and separating production and consumption practices, chapters in this part highlight the complexity of our object of study and identify the challenges that this poses for researchers. At the heart of these challenges are two interrelated trends: the tendency of journalism toward dispersion (Ringoot and Utard 2005) and hybridity (Chadwick 2013). These concepts do not only evoke more diversity and a greater variety of contexts, actors, and practices related to journalism. Perhaps more fundamentally, the differentiation is less clear in the digital environment – what has been described as a phenomenon of blurring boundaries (Carlson and Lewis 2015). The chapters in Part II explore the different ways in which people engage with the news as audiences, users, producers, sources, experts, or citizens. Each in its own way, the chapters challenge existing categorizations and contribute to new conceptualizations of actors and practices in the field.

    Parts III and IV address respectively how theories and methodologies can respond to these challenges and provide ways in which we can make sense of the changes in the field. To explain complexity, we propose approaching research fieldwork without rigid models. We need theoretical and methodological tools that can trace diversity and hybridity; we need research that explains how different actors define themselves in relationship to journalism, how they interact to shape news making, and what makes journalism evolve and resist change. Part III focuses on ‘Conceptualizations of Journalism’ and provides a variety of sometimes complementary, sometimes contradictory approaches to theorizing journalism: as practice, institution, field, network, or ecosystem. It provides new conceptualizations of the key actors in journalism, including the journalist, the public, spaces, and technology.

    Last, the chapters in Part IV provide us with ‘Research Strategies'. They provide both reflections on methodological tools available to us, as well as providing concrete examples on how certain methods can help us address the challenges that scholars in the field are faced with. As such, they each further our research in the field: they address changing production and consumption practices. They provide insight into accessing ‘big data', how to sample and analyze something as ‘liquid’ as the current journalism, and generally call for methods and research strategies that allow scholars do justice to the complex and diverse nature of journalism (including perspectives highlighting the material aspects of news work, ethnography, reconstruction interviews, Q-method, and triangulation).

    What, then, is next in Journalism Studies? Where do the chapters of this Handbook point towards, if anywhere? As outlined above, there is not one consensual paradigm this Handbook works from, or even works toward. Most likely, the reader of this handbook – even if she dips in and out – will be left with more questions than answers. There are a number of tensions that shine through even from reading the table of contents. These tensions are not alleviated, and most likely will become even more acute when reading the chapters. The Handbook embraces the complexity of the field as well as the tensions and uncertainty that result from it in our knowledge of the field.

    Together with Irene Costera Meijer (see Chapter 36), we would like to call for more space for doubt, inconsistency, and messiness in Journalism Studies. For us, maturing as a discipline means: being able to live with not knowing, rather than aiming to know it all; looking for and embracing grey areas, rather than neatly bounding the object of study; making space for many, possibly conflicting, definitions of what is journalism and who is a journalist; and acknowledging that there are many ways in which journalism can and does impact society, beyond (or even in contradiction with) its role for democracies in Western societies (Zelizer 2013). With this Handbook we hope to contribute to such a research approach. For us, it very much shows the diversity of approaches that make this research field so fascinating and multidisciplinary.

    Anderson, C. W., Bell, E., & Shirky, C. (2012). Post-Industrial Journalism: Adapting to the present. New York: Tow Center.
    Boczkowski, P. and Anderson C.W. (2016). Remaking the News. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.
    Carlson, M., & Lewis, S. C. (eds.). (2015). Boundaries of Journalism: Professionalism, practices and participation. New York: Routledge.
    Chadwick, A. (2013). The Hybrid Media System: Politics and power. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Downie, L. and Schudson, M. (2009). The Reconstruction of American Journalism.
    Lee-Wright, P., Phillips, A., & Witschge, T. (2012). Changing Journalism. London: Routledge.
    Peters, C., & Broersma, M. (2013). Rethinking Journalism: Trust and participation in a transformed news landscape. London: Routledge.
    Ringoot, R., & Utard, J. M. (2005). Le journalisme en invention: Nouvelles pratiques, nouveaux acteurs. Rennes: Presses universitaires de Rennes.
    Zelizer, B. (2000). What is journalism studies? Journalism, 1(1), 912.
    Zelizer, B. (2004). Taking Journalism Seriously: News and the academy. Thousand Oaks, CA; London: Sage.
    Zelizer, B. (2013). On the shelf life of democracy in journalism scholarship. Journalism, 14(4), 45973.
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