Networked journalism: news for a less flat Earth?

Charlie Beckett (London School of Economics, UK)

This paper sets out the idea of Networked Journalism and how it is changing the practice and possibilities of journalism. It is based on two years of research and debate at Polis, the LSE Media think-tank, and on the author’s 22 years as a newspaper, broadcast and online journalist. It will argue that mainstream journalism is combining with more public participatory elements of citizen journalism and interactivity. This coincides with a technological, social and economic upheaval in the news market. The result is a challenge to established journalistic practice and the advent of new relationships between public and news production. This paper will examine how journalism’s business model is shifting from product to process, from a transaction to a relationship and from a manufacturing to a service industry. It will set out how the process of journalism is being redefined by new technology and its new relationship with its audience, in which ideas of temporality, ethics and professionalism are being challenged. Finally, it will take a critical approach to claims that this is a revolutionary shift. It will identify the continuing needs for core journalistic functions and the resilience of traditional media brands. It will raise questions as to the degree to which this changing media practice can impact upon the wider social context such as democratic discourse and political practice. It will call for a radical change in attitudes to media literacy and journalism education that recognises the significant shift in the news media’s social role and the potential for an enhanced place for journalism in society.

Timing - Friday - Plenary Panel
Download Full Paper - Charlie Beckett.doc



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