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TRAJECTORIES: Trajectories in Digital Journalism: Embracing Complexity

Singer, J. (2014). TRAJECTORIES: Trajectories in Digital Journalism: Embracing Complexity. Journalism Studies, 15(6), pp. 706-710. doi: 10.1080/1461670X.2014.952971


When the Journalism Studies Interest Group of the International Communication Association was formed in pre-Katrina New Orleans in 2004, online journalism looked very much like offline journalism. Yes, content was available on a computer screen rather than on a piece of paper or over the airwaves. But otherwise, it was much the same: produced by a news organization, dominated by text, consumed but not created by an audience.
By the time the interest group became a division two years later, a hurricane had swept through the media world, and very little was the same as before.

Journalism Studies as a distinct scholarly discipline has matured in this age of Web 2.0, a term that came into vogue only in late 2004 as innovators began to engage with the medium as a platform for participation and not just for traditional one-to-many publishing. As the practice of journalism has been transformed over the past decade, so too has the study of that practice.

Yet practitioners and scholars both have struggled to adapt to the transformation. Journalists have moved only slowly away from the reification of old practices and toward implementation of new ones. And scholars have only tentatively begun to venture outside the comfort zone of long-standing theories as devices for understanding the nature of change. This essay looks at some of the ways in which an evolving realization of the medium’s distinctiveness has brought fundamental change to the synergistic enterprises of journalism practice and journalism studies.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journalism Studies on 30 Sept 2014, available online:
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
T Technology > T Technology (General)
Departments: School of Communication & Creativity > Journalism
PDF - Accepted Version
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