Journalism has enjoyed a rich and relatively stable history of professionalization. Scholars coming from a variety of disciplines have theorized this history, forming a consistent body of knowledge codified in national and international handbooks and canonical readers. However, recent work and analysis suggest that the supposed core of journalism and the assumed consistency of the inner workings of news organizations are problematic starting points for journalism studies.
In this article, we challenge the consensual (self-) presentation of journalism – in terms of its occupational ideology, its professional culture, and its sedimentation in routines and organizational structures (cf. the newsroom) in the context of its reconfiguration as a post-industrial, entrepreneurial, and atypical way of working and of being at work. We outline a way beyond individualist or institutional approaches to do justice to the current complex transformation of the profession.
We propose a framework to bring together these approaches in a dialectic attempt to move through and beyond journalism as it has traditionally been conceptualized and practiced, allowing for a broader definition and understanding of the myriad of practices that make up journalism.