More Liquid Journalism

Sometimes articulating a new concept is hard - it all seems so academic, so far away from the backyard of those whose lives it attempts to define, describe or understand. But in this case - the case of the emergence (and indeed: necessity) of a liquid journalism, it is easy.

So here's a telling quote about the realities in today's (U.S.) news industry from a report at the Poynter Institute online:
"Perhaps the most fundamental change involves the blurring of boundaries. Blogs, Facebook and YouTube have given the audience the power to publish. News is becoming a dialogue.

Boundaries within the newsroom are also crumbling. Print reporters are being asked to take pictures and record audio. Newspaper companies are producing [...] video."

UPDATE [5/8/7]: similar notions are explored in a columnn at the Wall Street Journal (quoted by Jeff Jarvis at Buzzmachine):

Whether or not content creators like it, this is the age of fragmentation. In industry after industry, consumers are voting with their feet against old methods of packaging and distributing information. They want to pick and choose what’s of interest to them, without having to pay for or wade through what isn’t. That change, midwived by technology, has shaken or shattered content companies’ business models. It’s made everything they do more risky. And it’s stripped them of power they once enjoyed, forcing them to work with new companies and industries that somehow got to set the rules. Faced with such a situation, it’s understandable that content creators are angry. But the chance to set the ground rules passed some time ago, and it’s high time for content creators to realize that and adjust.


The point towards liquid journalism here is that the boundaries - between users and producers of news, between different genres, channels and forms of media - are not necessarily blurring, for that would imply they disappear. More importantly, the boundaries that define journalism (including the roles and responsibilities of all of its stakeholders) have become permanently unstable, are constantly moving. Indeed, the boundaries - any boundaries - in journalism cannot keep their shape for very long. To paraphrase Zygmunt Bauman (in: Liquid Life): liquid journalism is a form of (amateur or professional) media work wherin the conditions under which its members act change faster than it takes the ways of acting to consolidate into habits and routines.