Oblique strategies for ambient journalism

  • Burns A
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Abstract

Alfred Hermida recently posited 'ambient journalism' as a new framework for para- and professional journalists, who use social networks like Twitter for story sources, and as a news delivery platform. Beginning with this framework, this article explores the following questions: How does Hermida define 'ambient journalism' and what is its significance? Are there alternative definitions? What lessons do current platforms provide for the design of future, real-time platforms that 'ambient journalists' might use? What lessons does the work of Brian Eno provide-the musician and producer who coined the term 'ambient music' over three decades ago? My aim here is to formulate an alternative definition of ambient journalism that emphasises craft, skills acquisition, and the mental models of professional journalists, which are the foundations more generally for journalism practices. Rather than Hermida's participatory media context I emphasise 'institutional adaptiveness': how journalists and newsrooms in media institutions rely on craft and skills, and how emerging platforms can augment these foundations, rather than replace them.

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  • A Burns

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