No alarms and no surprises. Journalism permanent crisis reframed by surrounding economic crisis.

TitleNo alarms and no surprises. Journalism permanent crisis reframed by surrounding economic crisis.
Publication TypeConference Paper
Author(s)Anciaux, A.
Affiliation (1st Author)Universite de Rennes 1 - France Universite Laval - Quebec, Canada
Section or WGJournalism Research and Education Section
DateFri 28 June
Slot CodeJRE F1a
Slot Code (Keyword)JRE F1a
Time of Session9:00-10:30
Session TitleNarratives, Communities and Conflicts in Transforming Environment Theme IV: Methods for Quantifying Professional Journalism
Submission ID5813

The digital environment build upon the two last decades is challenging journalism in many ways. It brings a new media for both production and broadcasting of the news, allowing a mass access to information produced by journalists. This overall innovation process takes place on a large scale and reshapes to some extent the way journalism is defined and offered to the public. On the other side, it has also brought to light some financial difficulties in the journalism business. A greater focus has been put on the economic crisis to explain the drop in legacy medias of advertising expenses, when they do not escape toward internet. Somehow, it seems that we discovered again that modern journalism (that is to say journalism developed at an industrial level, accessible to the masses) has never been financially self-sufficient. It has always been subsidized,, on the one hand by the State, sponsors and foundations, churches or unions; on the other hand, by advertisers, owners’ private interests, or cultural industries. Since these actors suffer from several financial difficulties (for some, important ones), journalism means of living are merely undermined. In this context, many actors evolving in and around the journalism field try to reframe the way business must be pursued. Thus, this paper’s aim is to understand how discourses help to build and interpret the environment of journalism and its financial possibilities. Professionals such as journalists, media editors and managers, cultural industries leaders, but also internet gurus and practitioners, not to mention the academics and scholars, co-produce some concepts such as “convergence” which are aimed at providing a framework for business decisions. We use a Canadian case study of a communication conglomerate to analyze how these discourses are built by actors, allowing certain strategies, industrial decisions and journalism rationale. With the help of Michel Foucault’s discourses analysis as stated in The Archeology of Knowledge, we will try to understand which are the discursive strategies at stake and how they contribute to create a new discursive reality for the journalism practice. This paper will outline that actors have contributed – and continue – to reshape the way journalism is built and understand. However, by acknowledging this discursive environment, they are also constrained by the definitions and strategies it carries, thereby narrowing their opportunities and choices of business models, economic strategies and innovative processes.

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