The Online Journalist between Ideals and Audience: Towards a (more) audience-driven and source-detached journalism?

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How do online journalists define themselves? Journalistic self-perception plays a big part in understanding developments in the practice of online journalism in newsrooms. This article presents an analysis of the self-perceptions of online journalists using the theoretical framework of Pierre Bourdieu and data from empirical longitudinal observations based on ethnographic fieldwork in three Danish newsrooms. The analytical concepts “journalistic doxa”, “news habitus” and “editorial capital” are applied in an analysis both of ethnographic observations of journalistic practice, and a series of interviews with 35 journalists and editors. This analysis shows that online journalists position themselves in opposition to the “old” forms of journalism, which include the use of such well-known journalistic resources as specialist knowledge, technical skills, and research and writing as professional tools. However, at the same time they accept the “old” as “better” journalism, which indicates that online journalism is deeply embedded in a dominated position in the overall field of journalism. A scheme of four different analytical positions among online journalists is presented within a constructed “field of online news production”.
TidsskriftJournalism Practice
Udgave nummer5
Sider (fra-til)572-587
StatusUdgivet - 2013


  • autonomy
  • sources
  • online journalism
  • news production
  • knowledge
  • journalistic specialisation
  • field theory
  • ethnographic observation

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