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Collaborative web and new media Shifts and continuities in journalistic practices and discourses. Jacob T. Matthews CEMTI / MSH Paris Nord Paris 8 University [email protected] “A whole new set of social and cultural practices”? (Henry Jenkins, 2006). HERE'S THE PLAN.

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Collaborative web and new media shifts and continuities in journalistic practices and discourses

Collaborative web and new media

Shifts and continuities in journalistic practices and discourses

Jacob T. Matthews

CEMTI / MSH Paris Nord

Paris 8 University

[email protected]


Collaborative web and new media shifts and continuities in journalistic practices and discourses

“A whole new set of social and cultural practices”? (Henry Jenkins, 2006)


Collaborative web and new media shifts and continuities in journalistic practices and discourses

HERE'S THE PLAN

1. What's this “collaborative web” ?

a. General definitions

b. Critique

c. Web 2.0, social media, participatory culture

2. Journalism as a particular form of mediation, and as a specific cultural industry

a. Journalism as one form of mediation

b. Journalism within the cultural industries system

3. An overview of certain changes brought about by collaborative web practices and discourses in the field of journalism.

a. Participatory culture: an antidote for the original sin of cultural industries ?

b. New media and convergence: so what is new ?

c. Media work: what's new in new media production and journalistic practices?

4. Focus: crowdfunding journalism projects


Collaborative web and new media shifts and continuities in journalistic practices and discourses

PART IWhat's this “collaborative web” ?


Collaborative web and new media shifts and continuities in journalistic practices and discourses

General definitions

s

1. Web 2.0 as “the companies that survived 2001”

2. Web 2.0: those who are capable of applying the Long Tail (Chris Anderson)

3. Collective intelligence: users add value + the perpetual beta

4. “Cooperate, don't control” but “Data is the next Intel Inside”


Collaborative web and new media shifts and continuities in journalistic practices and discourses

Critique

s

1. Boosting confidence after the dotcom bubble

2. Does web 2.0 really exist at all?

3. User-generated content as free labour: a bad deal?

4. The data battle and the risks for individual privacy.

5. What’s the collaborative web making us into?


Collaborative web and new media shifts and continuities in journalistic practices and discourses

Collaborative web, social media, participatory culture

s

“If old consumers were assumed to be passive, the new consumers are active. If old consumers were predictable and stayed where you told them to stay, the new consumers are migratory, showing a declining loyalty to networks or media. If old consumers were isolated individuals, the new consumers are more socially connected. If the work of media consumers was once silent and invisible, the new consumers are now noisy and public.”

Henry Jenkins (2006)


Collaborative web and new media shifts and continuities in journalistic practices and discourses

PART 2Journalism as a particular form of mediation, and as a specific cultural industry


Collaborative web and new media shifts and continuities in journalistic practices and discourses

Journalism as one form of mediation

s

Let's step back to the “good old days” of the 1960's and 70's, when information supposedly followed a much simpler and more straightforward circuit:

- Producers used to possess an innate ability to track down potential “scoops” or “hits” and link them up with an audience.

- Consumers were not yet actively participating in media production.

Oh really?


Collaborative web and new media shifts and continuities in journalistic practices and discourses

Some lessons from a case-study: Jim Morrison & The Doors


Collaborative web and new media shifts and continuities in journalistic practices and discourses

Some lessons from a case-study: Jim Morrison & The Doors

Antoine Hennion : art is no longer itself a social “mediator” and now needs “mediators” to perform its task.

Pop music relies on the “maximum conjunction of mediations” although it is paradoxically based on the “quest of a direct elective relation between the artist and the audience” (Hennion, 1993).

Media, promotional institutions and other intermediaries effectively hide their cumbersome presence behind this representation of a direct relation, in order to exert their own social and economical functions.


Collaborative web and new media shifts and continuities in journalistic practices and discourses

Some lessons from a case-study: Jim Morrison & The Doors

The professional practices of journalism and promotional institutions are able to “reverse the chronology (…) and ascribe to the terms of the relation – the artist and the audience – the effects of their relation.” (Hennion, 1993).

Journalistic productions all contribute in their own ways to this myth of immediate communication.

Fans and other “receivers” have consistently played essential roles in promotion and “image construction”: user created content and user generated promotion – as a complement to recognised cultural journalism – is definitely not a new phenomenon.


Collaborative web and new media shifts and continuities in journalistic practices and discourses

1969 user generated content: inside sleeve of The Doors Soft Parade album


Collaborative web and new media shifts and continuities in journalistic practices and discourses

Journalism within the cultural industries system

19th century: separation between media producers and media consumers – folk cultures swept away by this industrial media landslide ?

Frankfurt school theses: capitalist rationales and production procedures pervading the field of art and ideas.

Since 1970's: critical political economy of communication develops new analyses of cultural industries system.


Collaborative web and new media shifts and continuities in journalistic practices and discourses

Journalism within the cultural industries system

Critical political economy of communication: analysis of industrial trends and conflicts, and in particular the growing influence, since the late 1980's of the newly deregulated telecom players, as well as I.T. and electronic equipment manufacturers in the cultural industries.

Internet, I.T. and telecom players (communication industries) seeking to “colonise” the field of media and cultural production, in order to distinguish their commercial offers and boost their core activity.

→ An alternative vision of media convergence.


Collaborative web and new media shifts and continuities in journalistic practices and discourses

In conclusion...Journalism can be analysed within the wider cultural industries: it is within this specific socio-economical framework that journalists operate.

However, it is ever more difficult to provide a clear-cut definition of what journalism is or of what journalists are, so very diverse actual practices are.

Perhaps like mass media, journalists are to some extent an historical exception, a category that is related to a specific historical configuration, now on the verge of extinction...


Collaborative web and new media shifts and continuities in journalistic practices and discourses

PART 3An overview of certain changes brought about by collaborative web practices and discourses in the field of journalism


Collaborative web and new media shifts and continuities in journalistic practices and discourses

Exponential growth in “new media” practices:

- blogs

- e-zines and “cyber-journalism”

- “buzz oriented” and viral marketing techniques

- online self-promotion tools and social-networking sites

- video-sharing sites

- audiovisual streaming sites

- on-line distributors, algorithm based guides

- apps for mobile phone usage

New industrial players now often in direct competition with traditional media which survive, both via web and in their basic form: mainstream and specialised press, television and radio.


Collaborative web and new media shifts and continuities in journalistic practices and discourses

Are media and cultural industries doomed to be short-circuited by user-created content and user-generated prescriptions?

“In a drastic departure from the good old one-way, top-down, TV-obsessed 'culture' of the past, we are now witnessing a seemingly ubiquitous trend to media forms that allow, or better yet, promote participation, self-expression, and user engagement – and the media and so-called 'content' industries are the first to feel it.” (Leonhard, 2008)


Collaborative web and new media shifts and continuities in journalistic practices and discourses

Participatory culture: an antidote for the “original sin” of cultural industries ?

Henry Jenkins:

Users have risen from the ghetto to the centre stage of the media arena and of cultural production; the more they contribute to content creation, the more this will enhance both cultural diversity and economic growth.

Participatory culture is resolving the historical antagonism between “community” and “commodity”

A profound change of paradigm, in which “new media” (the horizontally designed Web-based communities) are systematically opposed to “old media” (the large vertically orientated institutions and corporations of the 20th century).


Collaborative web and new media shifts and continuities in journalistic practices and discourses

Participatory culture: an antidote for the “original sin” of cultural industries ?

However, empirical research indicates that dominant trends are far less clear-cut than suggested in these radical visions.

“Since the beginning of their industrialisation, culture and information have always seen their massive and vertical circulation processes completed by relations between consumers.” (Rebillard, 2007)

In many cases, “old media” institutions have benefited from digital media development and now leverage significant revenue from user-generated content.


Collaborative web and new media shifts and continuities in journalistic practices and discourses

Participatory culture: an antidote for the “original sin” of cultural industries ?

Intermediation: new forms of collaboration between content generating users and industrial players of various sizes, rather than the full-blown conflict.

The overall promotion of media products is now greater than it has ever been in the history of industrialised culture and information.

The active participation of users is a vital condition for the development of media and cultural industries, on a par with strategies directly impulsed by oligopoly players.

Greater inclusion of users within the valorisation process, reinforcing the principle of commodity exchange.


Collaborative web and new media shifts and continuities in journalistic practices and discourses

New media and convergence: so what is new ?

Towards a new cultural and media industries system ?

- A significant number of new players in the media and cultural industries.

- Many of these newcomers originate from the communication industries.

- Content is crucial, and “anything goes”.

- Greater concentration

- Increased financialisation and the data obsession


Collaborative web and new media shifts and continuities in journalistic practices and discourses

Media Work: what's new in new media production and journalistic practices?

Media Work: a merger between the spheres of production and consumption.

“The majority of people make media when they use media.”

“The convergence of production and consumption of media across companies, channels, genres and technologies is an expression of the convergence of all aspects of everyday life: work and play, the local and the global, self and social indentity.”

(Deuze, 2007)


Collaborative web and new media shifts and continuities in journalistic practices and discourses

Media Work: what's new in new media production and journalistic practices?

How can convergence be observed in media industries and professional practices?

1. Inclusion of very diverse players in the co-creation of media contents and experiences (= intermediation).

2. Integration of existing media industries within a global production network. Inter-connected clusters escaping Nation-State regulation.


Collaborative web and new media shifts and continuities in journalistic practices and discourses

Media Work: what's new in new media production and journalistic practices?

How can convergence be observed in media industries and professional practices?

3. Immaterialization of media production practices: “convergence of experiences” between individuals using varied media devices as windows onto the world.

4. Coordination, within production processes, of aims and dimensions that were formerly separated: creativity, commerce, contents and connectivity.


Collaborative web and new media shifts and continuities in journalistic practices and discourses

Media Work: what's new in new media production and journalistic practices?

How are these four trends translating in the everyday practices of the former institutional media workers?

1. Labour conditions:

Multi-skilling, conflicts between journalists and CMS technicians, rise in non-permanent journalists and freelance workers...

Key preoccupation for management: “how to do more with less” ?


Collaborative web and new media shifts and continuities in journalistic practices and discourses

Media Work: what's new in new media production and journalistic practices?

“Faced with intense competition, an increasingly critical and unpredictable user, and heightened commercial pressures from a global market, media companies dismantle their production operations into a flexible global network of temporary affiliations in order to focus more on controlling distribution (…) in a context of increasingly precarious labour conditions for media workers.” (Deuze, 2007).


Collaborative web and new media shifts and continuities in journalistic practices and discourses

Media Work: what's new in new media production and journalistic practices?

2. An upheaval in the ethical and ideological grounding of journalistic practices.

The heavy burden of a professional ideology that doesn’t always live up to its claims.

Oppressive newsroom cultures limiting new talent and radical or alternative views, among new-coming journalists.

The four pillars of journalistic professional ideology in jeopardy: wikileaks as an extreme example...


Collaborative web and new media shifts and continuities in journalistic practices and discourses

In conclusion...Supposedly “democratised” new media do not necessarily amount to a more egalitarian, enlightened and socially just politics – in the workplace and beyond...

A blurring of the frontier between between journalism and plain marketing: are media contents becoming mere pretexts for intensified commodity exchange relations?

A renewed cultural industries system?- Socio-economical imbrication of cultural and communication industries and of these last with wider consumer and service industries;

- an ideological process towards inclusion of the public sphere within the realm of commodity exchange, which offers a testing ground for advocates of neo-liberal, “post-political” theses.


Collaborative web and new media shifts and continuities in journalistic practices and discourses

PART 4Focus: crowdfunding journalism projects


Collaborative web and new media shifts and continuities in journalistic practices and discourses

What are crowdfunding platforms? By-passing “old media” funding methods and empowering users to promote and support alternative media forms? A transfer of financial costs to fragmented groups of social agents who do not possess the strength – nor perhaps the will – to impose any alternative to the dominant social order? But that's enough theoretical hypotheses for one morning: now let's take a look at some empirical evidence!


Collaborative web and new media shifts and continuities in journalistic practices and discourses

Bibliography

  • Assange, J. (2011). The Unauthorized Biography, Canongate Books.

  • Boltanski, L., Chiapello, E. (2000). Le nouvel esprit du capitalisme, Gallimard.

  • Bouquillion, P., Combès, Y. (Eds.) (2007). Les industries de la culture et de la communication en mutation. L'Harmattan.

  • Bouquillion, P. (2008). Les industries de la culture et de la communication, les stratégies du capitalisme. P.U.G.

  • Bouquillion, P., Matthews, J. (2010). Le Web collaboratif. P.U.G.

  • Deuze, M. (2007). Media Work. Polity Press.

  • Habermas, J. (1969). Strukturwandel der Öffentlichkeit. Untersuchungen zu einer Kategorie der bürgerlichen Gesellschaft. Luchterhand

  • Hennion, A. (1993). La Passion Musicale. Métailié.

  • Jenkins, H. (2006). Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. NYU Press.

  • Leonhard, G. (2008). Music 2.0. http://www.music20book.com/

  • Matthews, J. (2003). Communication d’une star: Jim Morrison. L’Harmattan.

  • Matthews, J., Pucheu, D. (2006). “L'industrie musicale en mutation: usages et échanges numériques”, Les Enjeux de l'Information et de la Communication.

  • Matthews, J., Rouzé, V., Vachet, J. (2014). Valoriser la culture à l'heure du numérique: le crowdfunding et le crowdsourcing. MKF Editions.

  • Miège, B. (2000). Les industries du contenu face à l'ordre informationnel. Grenoble: P.U.G.

  • Miège, B. (2007). La société conquise par la communication. Tome 3 Les Tic entre innovation technique et ancrage social. P.U.G.

  • Rebillard, F. (2007). Le Web 2.0 en perspective, une analyse socio-économique de l’internet. L’Harmattan.


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