Pioneer Journalism: the Re-Figuration of Journalism’s Organizational Foundations
Are ‘pioneer communities’ transforming journalism! Or not? This project, financed by the German Research Foundation (DFG), explores which role 'pioneer communities’ play in transforming journalism.
The transformation of journalism is entangled with the development of media technologies and is increasingly maintained ‘beyond the newsroom’ by actors outside traditional media organisations situated at the periphery of the journalistic field. When referring to historical work on the internet it becomes clear that certain groups or communities can play a crucial role in these processes. We call them ‘pioneer communities’: groups of people who do not only possess a sense of mission but who also develop ideas about media-related change that can orientate broader social discourses. For a couple of examples one can look to the ‘Hacks/Hackers movement’ who are engaged in data- and technology-driven journalism or the ‘Constructive Journalism Project’, developing new forms of media coverage that integrates ‘solution-focused elements’.
The project aim to investigate the role these pioneer communities play in journalism’s development. Based on qualitative interviews it analyses how ‘journalist pioneer communities’ imagine and practice the future of the field. The project particularly interested in their understanding of (journalistic) role-conceptions, journalists’ relationships with audiences and pioneering practices. The main argument is that what these groups imagine is not a collection of straightforward ‘models’ that can be readily applied to current mainstream journalism, but something that is likely to have a remarkable impact on discourse around its future – something that signals developments and practices from pioneers and innovators at the periphery that push against the centre.
Research programme: RP1 - Transformation of Public Communication