Showing posts from December, 2013

Media, communication and struggles over transparency

Issues of transparency are not new, but have been magnified in the information society—often because of the scale and scope of information available—and because news media are increasingly part of the story, not merely, the storytellers.

The roles played by leading newspapers worldwide—the New York Times, Washington Post, The Guardian, Le Monde, O Globo, El Pais and others—in reviewing and publishing stories based on disclosures by Wikileaks and Edward Snowden’s NSA files have thrust them into the debate about how much transparency society needs. Arguments over information they published and whether disclosures serves public purposes have been animated. These debates highlight differences in views about transparency in security matters, but they also are forcing society to address more fundamental issues about transparency involving many other issues.

Transparency debates are not just a struggle over information and secrecy, but about the bases of human interaction and experience. Trans…

The deinstitutionalization of journalism

The most important change in news production today is probably the deinstitutionalization of journalism—the separation of journalism from structural arrangements that significantly influenced its development in the twentieth century.

The practice of journalism was heavily influenced in the past century by regular employment in news enterprises, hierarchical arrangements and organized beats, trade unions and professional associations, and common values and training.
These created strong institutional influences on journalistic work from employing organizations and professional colleagues. They provided institutional support to journalistic practices, journalistic specialization, and expanded news and information provision. The arrangements provided the foundation on which better journalistic working conditions and compensation were built. The newsroom was a construction of the institutional arrangements and became the focus of journalistic life. The newsroom developed in the late ninetee…