Special issue of Journalism: Practicing media activism, shaping networked journalism

7.coverThe special issue of Journalism: Theory, Practice, Criticism I edited is out. Has been for months but I’m a terrible updater. The issue includes an article based on my research at the UN Climate summit in Durban, and great articles by my friends and colleagues Michela Ardizzoni, Lynn Clark, Nabil Echchaibi and Merlyna Lim. You can download all of the articles here because Sage agreed to make the issue open access. Oddly, just because I asked.

When the Online First version was available last March, John Wihbey wrote about my article in his Neiman Journalism Lab column “What’s New in Digital Scholarship.”

Thanks to all of the contributors, editors Barbie Zelizer, Howard Tumbler, Briony Fane, Divya Munjal and all of the reviewers. Here’s an except from the introduction of the issue:

The articles collected here ask readers to stretch conceptions about what we think of as journalism. More than that, they ask readers to, in effect, work backward in constructing those conceptions, to disregard familiar notions about the forms that the best kind of journalism has taken for a century and think instead about what purposes might best be prioritized in the contemporary networked-journalism field and how journalists might best achieve those purposes, given that media-making and distributing have been revolutionized in a way that has expanded exponentially the field of possible participants in the field. The day’s news might include a score of coordinated short street documentaries of the city where you live or traffic-routing video game results or software visualizing data on immigration policy debates. New ideas about the kind of genre expansion the field might witness might also lead to different priorities in journalism training – training that might necessarily center around critical exploration of objectives more than exercise in practice and procedures. As Clark suggests, in an era where journalism scholars have mostly cast off objectivity as an unachievable distraction, study in media activism might force would-be journalists to ask the bigger questions about what media does and how its power can be channeled. Students would learn less about how to write powerful ledes and effective nutgraphs and more about the power of networked media and the responsibilities that fall on news media producers of all sorts to the publics all around the world that might follow their work.

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