Interactivity in the daily routines of online newsrooms: dealing with an uncomfortable myth

Authors


Abstract

This article analyzes interactivity in online journalism as a powerful myth with which journalists have to deal in their daily work. A constructivist approach to media innovation is used to explore the historical origins of the myth that predicted interactivity would change journalism and to confront it with the actual practices of online media projects through published empirical research and four case studies selected from an average European regional market. The analysis of the cases is based on ethnography of online newsrooms working routines and in-depth interviews with reporters, editors and web developers. The actual role of the myth of interactivity in shaping the development of these four online news projects is discussed taking into account the material and organizational context of the newsrooms. Findings suggest that the professional culture of traditional journalism has a strong inertia in the online newsrooms that prevents them from developing most of the ideals of interactivity, as they do not fit in the standardized news production routines.

Résumé

Interactivity in the daily routines of online newsrooms: dealing with an uncomfortable myth

This article analyzes interactivity in online journalism as a powerful myth with which journalists have to deal in their daily work. A constructivist approach to media innovation is used to explore the historical origins of the myth that predicted interactivity would change journalism and to confront it with the actual practices of online media projects through published empirical research and four case studies selected from an average European regional market. The analysis of the cases is based on ethnography of online newsrooms working routines and in-depth interviews with reporters, editors and web developers. The actual role of the myth of interactivity in shaping the development of these four online news projects is discussed taking into account the material and organizational context of the newsrooms. Findings suggest that the professional culture of traditional journalism has a strong inertia in the online newsrooms that prevents them from developing most of the ideals of interactivity, as they do not fit in the standardized news production routines.

Resumen

La Interactividad en las Rutinas Diarias de la Salas de Redacción de Noticias Online: Tratando con un Mito Incómodo

Este artículo analiza la interactividad en el periodismo online como un mito poderoso con el cual los periodistas tienen que tratar en su trabajo cotidiano. Un enfoque constructivista de la innovación de los medios fue usado para explorar los orígenes históricos del mito que predijeron la interactividad cambiaría al periodismo y para confrontarlo con las prácticas corrientes de los proyectos de los medios online a través de investigaciones empíricas publicadas y cuatro estudios de caso seleccionados de un promedio del mercado regional Europeo. Este análisis de los casos es basado en etnografías de las salas de redacción online trabajando en sus rutinas y de entrevistas en profundidad con reporteros, editores y creadores de la red. El rol actual del mito de la interactividad en el desarrollo de estos 4 proyectos de noticias online es discutido teniendo en cuenta el material y el contexto organizacional de las salas de redacción. Los resultados sugieren que la cultura profesional del periodismo tradicional tiene una inercia ponderosa sobre las salas de redacción de noticias previniéndolas de desarrollar muchos de los ideales de interactividad, dado que no encajan en las rutinas estandarizadas de la producción de noticias.

ZhaiYao

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Yo yak

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