Call: Special Issue on: Newswork

Call for Papers: Journalism: Theory, Practice & Criticism

Special Issue on: "Newswork"

Guest Editors:
Mark Deuze, Department of Telecommunications at Indiana University and Professor of Journalism and New Media at Leiden University, The Netherlands, and Timothy Marjoribanks, School of Political Science, Criminology and Sociology at the University of Melbourne, Australia.


The work that journalists do is changing fast. The creation of content in the global news industry takes place under increasingly precarious and otherwise problematic conditions. In terms of audiences, reporters and editors have to come to terms with those who Jay Rosen calls “The People Formerly Known As The Audience” (TPFKATA) as co-producers of news.

Regarding content, Pablo Boczkowski, Michael Schudson and others signal “news isomorphism” and “interinstitutional news coherence” as the industry digitizes and converges, as the reliance on agency feeds grows, and as journalists are expected to do more with less time and fewer resources and colleagues.

But perhaps most crucially for the focus of this special issue, one has to consider the changing contexts of news production. Consider for example the 2006 labor market assessment by the International Federation of Journalists, reporting the rapid rise of so-called "atypical" newswork – especially among younger reporters and newcomers in journalism.

Furthermore one has to consider the worldwide trend towards outsourcing of “free labor” (Tiziana Terranova) to consumers under the banner of "citizen journalism", and the massive loss of jobs and casualization of labor under conditions of the ongoing integration, convergence and concentration of news operations and corporate ownership.

At the same time the industry is rapidly innovating its approaches, practices, and management of news. Newspapers experiment with online video, broadcasters build communities around their content online, Web sensibilities creep into every aspect of the journalistic process, and news providers increasingly include professionals and amateurs of a bewildering variety of backgrounds.

In this special issue we call for papers that document, map, and interrogate the changing conditions, professional and managerial practices, and production contexts of newswork.

We particularly welcome paper proposals that include theoretically informed case studies, ethnographies, interviews, and other up-close-and-personal investigations of what changes in newswork (including but not limited to the changes outlined in this call for papers) mean to the practitioners involved; how the professional identity of journalists is being transformed, and how the current climate of newswork can be historicized.

Papers can focus on any media form(s), and on any local, national or international context.

Interested authors are invited to, in the first instance, submit a paper proposal of 200-250 words to both editors mdeuze at indiana.edu and tkmarj at unimelb.edu.au. Deadline for submission of full articles: 1 August 2008.

Publication: 10(3), Spring 2009 issue.


REMARK: this call for papers is separate from another journal special issue (of the International Journal of Cultural Studies) I am co-editing.