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Journalists’ shifting attitudes towards incursive, innovative, non-traditional journalism actors

Conference contribution
Authors Sherwin Chua
Andrew Duffy
Published in Symposium on Media, Professions and Society. Volda, Norway, June 17-20, 2019
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Journalism, Media and Communication (JMG)
Language en
Keywords digital journalism, innovation, legacy news media, news practices, non-traditional actors
Subject categories Media and Communications


This presentation showcases an ongoing three-year study that examines the interrelationships between newsworkers’ attitudes towards non-traditional journalism actors and the normalisation of innovations into everyday news practices in media organisations over time. It explores whether and to what extent have newsworkers’ attitudes towards non-traditional journalism actors and their contributions to innovations changed over time and considers if non-traditional journalism actors are more valued if they are involved in the core journalistic function of newsgathering and reporting, than if their input is related to the auxiliary journalistic functions (design, distribution, research, commerce and promotion). Congruently, would non-traditional journalism actors who come from within the newsroom be more accepted than those with comparable skills from outside? This research is guided by a synthesis of two analytical frameworks—the agents of media innovation (Westlund & Lewis, 2014) and the typology of strangers in journalism (Holton & Belair-Gagnon, 2018), and adopts a case study approach (Yin, 2018) to examining a legacy newspaper in Singapore. The findings indicate that as barriers between traditional and non-traditional journalism groups of actors are gradually lowered, new tensions involving dissonant professional perspectives, practices and jurisdictions begin to surface and are being negotiated. Additionally, there is a growing salience of hybrid roles within newsrooms that serve as lynchpins to connect divergent professional fields, and more importantly, as bridges between tradition and change.

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