Beyond technological determinism: a model for understanding a new networked news environment
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Authors: Clare Cook, Megan Knight
Over the last two decades the language we use to describe the news media landscape has become increasingly inadequate to the purpose. As the news environment expands and fragments, the meanings of terms like 'newspaper' and 'television channel' become harder and harder to pin down, and more and more organisations exist for which we have no simple words. In this paper we propose a new mechanism of examining and defining the media landscape for those working within it, consuming it, and researching it. This is not intended as a finite set of definitions, but a framework for analysing and structuring these entities (news media organisations and individuals) around sourcing and output that is flexible and dynamic enough to explain both the contemporary environment, and to cope with the changes we know will come, in the various forms they will take. This model is intended not as a definitive mapping of this continually fluctuating and evolving landscape, but as an attempt to delineate those factors which we believe will be determinate in this new landscape: the nature and number of relationships a journalist has with the community and news environments, and the means in and purpose to which a journalist applies his content and skill.
Publication date: 30/09/2011