Showing posts from January, 2014

A fundamental shift in the mode of news production

Changes in news production and journalistic employment are often simplistically explained as the results of technology, recent economic conditions, or changes in audience preferences. All these factors have played roles, but a more fundamental and consequential shift is altering the nature of news work and news production.

For more than a hundred years news production has been characterized by the industrial mode of production in which news factories mass produced news. They brought together the resources and equipment necessary for gathering and disseminating news and they relied on trained and professionalized news workers. The product became property exchanged in markets, with geographical, market, and economic factors constraining competition to provide news products.

Although some elements of that production mode remain in place, one can observe news provision splitting into two new production modes—a service mode and a craft production mode. These have enormous implications for th…