How newspapers began to blog: Recognizing the role of technologists in old media organizations’ development of new media technologies

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Abstract

In this article, I examine how ‘old’ media organizations develop ‘new’ media technologies by analyzing processes of technological innovation in two Danish newspaper companies that integrated blogs into their websites in very different ways in 2007. Drawing on concepts from science and technology studies and sociology and building on previous research on blogging by news media organizations, I analyze how the three different communities involved in the development process – journalists and managers, but also the often-overlooked community of technologists – articulated different versions of what blogging ought to be in each organization and tried to shape the technology and pull the development work in different directions. On the basis of interviews with key participants, I show how the two newspaper organizations (equally ‘old’ media) came to develop nominally the same ‘new’ medium (blogs) for nominally the same purpose (journalism) in quite different ways through tension-filled and often contentious collaborative processes. I argue that researchers interested in understanding technological innovation in the media industry need to consider the important and active role played by the community of technologists (project managers, computer programers, information architects, etc.) that are increasingly integral to how legacy media organizations operate in a new and ever more convergent media environment under circumstances of great economic uncertainty, and discuss the wider implications for how we understand processes of technological development in the news media and the realization of the democratic potentials of new media technologies.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftInformation, Communication & Society
Antal sider21
ISSN1369-118X
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 25 jun. 2012

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