Sergio Splendore

«What are you doing!?»: innovative practices and boundary-work in professional journalism

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Boundary-Work; Ethnography; Journalism; New Media; Practices.

This paper presents the results of a year-long (2010-2011) participant observation carried out in the newsroom of a website specializing in local news in Genoa. Adopting an ethnographic approach, more than 70 press conferences have been observed. The rise of digital technology per se has disrupted the news industry and journalists' practices. Nonetheless, what can be described as a boundary-work has emerged when new actors entered the journalistic field adopting digital technologies and introducing new practices. Since then, in everyday work and practices, a struggle has started: «what journalism is» and «who can be considered a journalist» has become something to be strategically re-negotiated. Although the journalistic field is constantly re-defined, this article analyses a very important phase in such never-ending process: the very first moment when traditional and digital journalists met for the first time outside of the newsroom.

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