It has been far too long since updating this site, so here’s the quick and dirty version: In August 2016 I joined the University of Groningen as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Media Studies and Journalism, and with the Research Centre for Media and Journalism Studies.
Since then, it has been a busy year – between teaching on new courses, and working with new colleagues, I’ve also had a number of projects come to a head. Hopefully this post is a useful ‘re-set’ and will allow me to do better keeping this site up to date.
Working back from the most recent bit of news, last Spring I wrapped up writing on my own book, Online Journalism from the Periphery: Interloper Media and the Journalistic Field. For lack of a better way of putting it, here is what I’ve put on the back cover:
Online Journalism from the Periphery looks at how a range of new media actors, communicating online, have challenged us to think differently about the journalistic field. Emerging from the disruption of digital technology, these new actors have been met with resistance by an existing core of journalism, who perceive them as part of a ‘digital threat’ and dismiss their claims of journalistic belonging. As a result, cracks are appearing in the conceptual foundations of what journalism is and should be.
Applying field theory as a conceptual lens, Scott Eldridge guides the reader through the intricacies of these tensions at both the core and periphery. By first unpacking definitions of journalism as a social and cultural construction, this book explores how these are dominated by narratives which have reinforced a limited set of expectations about its purpose and reach. The book goes on to examine how these narratives have been significantly undermined by the output of major new media players, including Gawker, reddit, Breitbart, and WikiLeaks. Online Journalism from the Periphery argues for a broadening of ideas around what constitutes journalism in the modern world, concluding with alternative approaches to evaluating the contributions of emerging media heavy-weights to society and to journalism.
The book explores conceptualizations of journalism, and the journalistic field, and in particular draws into focus new actors – digital actors – who present thorns in the side for understanding journalism as they demonstrate new, often controversial, ways of gathering, verifying, and sharing news that do not always gel with traditional ideas of journalism. It is out in a few weeks.
A bit more book publishing news: This past autumn, the Routledge Companion to Digital Journalism Studies was published. This is a collection of work edited by Bob Franklin and myself, with more than 80 contributors joining on nearly 60 chapters unpacking fundamental discussions in Digital Journalism Studies. I join Bob in writing the introduction for this volume, as well as my own chapter on the emergence of interloper media and their challenge to the journalistic field. These are, respectively,
Eldridge, S., & Franklin, B. (2016). Defining Digital Journalism Studies. In B. Franklin, & S. Eldridge II (Eds.), The Routledge Companion to Digital Journalism Studies (pp. 1-12). Abingdon: Routledge.
Eldridge, S. (2016). The Digital Journalist: the journalistic field, boundaries, and disquieting change. In B. Franklin, & S. Eldridge II (Eds.), The Routledge Companion to Digital Journalism Studies (pp. 44-54). Abingdon: Routledge.
Along the way, we’ve developed new ideas we want to explore with colleagues around the globe, and are currently working on The Routledge Handbook of Developments in Digital Journalism Studies which we should wrap up in the coming year. I’ve had a few more publications come out, which I will try to expand on with additional posts, but they include:
- The now Open Access version of “Hero or Anti-Hero?: Narratives of newswork and journalistic identity construction in complex digital megastories“
- A chapter, published in August, called: “Dissolving boundaries: mapping the discursive terrain of journalistic identity in a digital era”, which looks at the concepts advanced in Bourdieu’s Field Theory, explored through discourse analysis, to argue how journalists and emerging journalistic actors are situated in society through language. This appears in the edited book Discours des réseaux sociaux : enjeux publics, politiques et médiatiques, edited by Marcel Burger, Richard Fitzgerald and Joanna Thornborrow.
- Also in August, Martin Conboy and I had our chapter “Journalism and Public Discourse” published in the Routledge Handbook of Language and Media, edited by Colleen Cotter and Daniel Perrin. In this chapter we explore journalism’s ‘public appeal’, and the various ways this has been considered by scholars, through language analysis, over the years.
- John Steel and myself had an article published in Journalism Studies in 2016 – titled “Normative expectations: Employing ‘communities of practice’ approaches for assessing journalism’s normative claims“. This article explores notions of normativity in journalism, through the ways communities and communities of practice consider journalistic idealized perceptions when they use media.
- Following the election of Donald Trump in November 2016, I was asked to write a rapid response analysis – titled “Taking Julian Assange seriously: considering WikiLeaks’ role in the US presidential campaign” – as part of Bournemouth University’s innovative approach to presenting academic analysis on elections and referenda, edited by Darren G. Lilleker, Einar Thorsen, Daniel Jackson, and. Anastasia Veneti. The whole report is free to read.
- And, the day before that election, I was in Bilbao, at the 8th annual “Congreso Internacional de Ciberperiodismo y Web 2.0″, hosted by the University of the Basque Country. There I gave a keynote address titled: “Of course I’m a goddamn journalist”: How studying WikiLeaks and ‘Interloper Media’ helps to better understand the journalistic field”.
In addition there has been a pleasant uptick in chances to talk about my research to students and colleagues in Groningen, including for the Media Studies Study Association (MESA), the Nederlands Genootschap voor Internationale Zaken (NGIZ) Noord, and at the Amsterdam Academy of Theatre and Dance – all on political coverage around the U.S. election.
I will endeavor to keep this page more up-to-date in the months to come… and hopefully there will be more to talk about.
EDIT: Oh yeah! I also have two presentations this week at Cardiff’s biannual Future of Journalism conference. There I will present a paper with Martin Conboy, titled “Rumour, Reputations, and Risotto on the Campaign Trail: facticity and falsity on the campaign trail”, and with Henrik Bødker: “Negotiating Uncertain Claims: Journalism as an inferential community”. Looking forward to feedback and discussions there.