Citation

Actors, Actants, Activities, and Audiences in Cross-Media News Work: Extending the Model of Journalism

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Abstract:

In the contemporary mediascape, new configurations of social actors, technological actants, work-practice activities and audiences have become interlinked in ways that confound boundaries between production and consumption, professional and nonprofessional, intra- and extra-organizational domains, and other distinctions traditionally associated with media work and media management. Thus, scholars need to rethink and theorize the nature of who or what—whether human actors or nonhuman technological actants inside and/or outside of the media company—shapes message formation, circulation and participation. Moreover, how does such media-making occur through various processes and activities, in the service of, or together with, those formerly known as the audience.

In this paper, we ask: In the context of digital journalism, are existing theoretical models flexible enough to accommodate and explain the shifting character of actors, actants, activities, and audiences? We argue that twin blind spots have developed in the journalism studies literature. First, its human-centric focus—on professional norms, occupational culture, and other social factors—has failed to fully account for the inherent tension between human and machine, between computational and manual modes of orientation and output that exist in contemporary digital media work. Second, this vein of journalism studies has focused heavily, if not exclusively, on the editorial side of news organizations, thus largely neglecting the information technology, the business and the managerial components.

Against that backdrop, we posit and discuss a more holistic model through which to make sense of and conduct empirical research about the full range of actors, actants, activities, and audiences engaged in contemporary cross-media news work. We present a revised Model of Journalism, building on Westlund (2013), that more fully acknowledges internal and external dynamics, the human–technology continuum, and the relationship among editorial, technical, and managerial—all in the context of actors, actants, activities and audiences. The revised model is intended to equip scholars with creative and precise analytical resources, facilitating the embarkation of more rewarding empirical journeys into the cross-media news work of contemporary news media companies.
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Association:
Name: International Communication Association 64th Annual Conference
URL:
http://www.icahdq.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p712787_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Lewis, Seth. and Westlund, Oscar. "Actors, Actants, Activities, and Audiences in Cross-Media News Work: Extending the Model of Journalism" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association 64th Annual Conference, Seattle Sheraton Hotel, Seattle, Washington, <Not Available>. 2018-09-06 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p712787_index.html>

APA Citation:

Lewis, S. C. and Westlund, O. "Actors, Actants, Activities, and Audiences in Cross-Media News Work: Extending the Model of Journalism" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association 64th Annual Conference, Seattle Sheraton Hotel, Seattle, Washington <Not Available>. 2018-09-06 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p712787_index.html

Publication Type: Session Paper
Abstract: In the contemporary mediascape, new configurations of social actors, technological actants, work-practice activities and audiences have become interlinked in ways that confound boundaries between production and consumption, professional and nonprofessional, intra- and extra-organizational domains, and other distinctions traditionally associated with media work and media management. Thus, scholars need to rethink and theorize the nature of who or what—whether human actors or nonhuman technological actants inside and/or outside of the media company—shapes message formation, circulation and participation. Moreover, how does such media-making occur through various processes and activities, in the service of, or together with, those formerly known as the audience.

In this paper, we ask: In the context of digital journalism, are existing theoretical models flexible enough to accommodate and explain the shifting character of actors, actants, activities, and audiences? We argue that twin blind spots have developed in the journalism studies literature. First, its human-centric focus—on professional norms, occupational culture, and other social factors—has failed to fully account for the inherent tension between human and machine, between computational and manual modes of orientation and output that exist in contemporary digital media work. Second, this vein of journalism studies has focused heavily, if not exclusively, on the editorial side of news organizations, thus largely neglecting the information technology, the business and the managerial components.

Against that backdrop, we posit and discuss a more holistic model through which to make sense of and conduct empirical research about the full range of actors, actants, activities, and audiences engaged in contemporary cross-media news work. We present a revised Model of Journalism, building on Westlund (2013), that more fully acknowledges internal and external dynamics, the human–technology continuum, and the relationship among editorial, technical, and managerial—all in the context of actors, actants, activities and audiences. The revised model is intended to equip scholars with creative and precise analytical resources, facilitating the embarkation of more rewarding empirical journeys into the cross-media news work of contemporary news media companies.


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