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Rebuilding the News: Metropolitan Journalism in the Digital Age

ISBN-13: 978-1439909348
ISBN-10: 1439909342
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Editorial Reviews


"For keen insights into why news organizations are struggling so mightily to adapt to a networked environment, you won't do better than this splendid ethnographic study of the Philadelphia news 'ecosystem.' ... Ideas for additional empirical work abound throughout this book, from the influence of data metrics on news decisions to the evolving nature of news aggregation. And [Anderson's] application of the ethnographic method is an exemplar in itself." -- Jane Singer, Journalism: Theory, Practice, Criticism.

"This book is an excellent and ground-breaking contribution to the tradition of news ethnography." -- David Ryfe, Digital Journalism

"Anderson explores whether and how emerging online news has changed the practice of reporting. Using a variety of research techniques including ethnography, social-network analysis, and archival content research, he takes an in-depth look at one city (Philadelphia) to study changes in journalism from the 1990s to the present... Scholars in journalism and organization sociology will appreciate Anderson's meticulous methodology and his analysis of the responses of journalists and news organizations to a rapidly changing environment."--Library Journal, March 2013 "American journalism's death spiral is by now a well-known and much-lamented phenomenon. But precious few accounts offer us on-the-ground views of how journalistic institutions are actually changing. C.W. Anderson offers us such a vantage point in his book Rebuilding the News. He provides a close chronicle of local news organizations' experimentations and permutations in their attempts to adapt to an online environment. Anderson captures this transitional moment for journalism with a narrative based on an ethnographic study of Philadelphia media institutions... [He] gives us a thick description of news work practices in the digital age... This is an important book and an enjoyable read. Anderson's writing is lively, and his analysis of journalism's shifting practices is often provocative. His work advances the ongoing discussion about our rapidly changing news institutions, and his treatment of his subject matter is careful and nuanced. Overlapping with science and technology studies, this book is a significant contribution to the growing subfield of journalism studies as well as ethnographic and sociological scholarship more generally. It is a worthwhile read for anyone who has a stake in the future of journalism. In other words, we should all be reading this book." - Political Communication "For keen insights into why news organizations are struggling so mightily to adapt to a networked environment, you won't do better than this splendid ethnographic study of the Philadelphia news 'ecosystem'. In his rich depiction of the people and practices behind local blogs and independent media outlets as well as the websites of the city's (barely) surviving sister newspapers, the Inquirer and Daily News, Anderson combines sharp observations with thoughtful analysis to show just how precarious newswork today is - and the difficulty of making it less so... This is a fine book: solidly researched, engagingly written, highly informative, and intellectually stimulating. And, of course, the topic matters." - Journalism

Book Description

Breaking down the walls of the traditional newsroom, Rebuilding the News traces the evolution of news reporting as it moves from print to online. As the business models of newspapers have collapsed, author C. W. Anderson chronicles how bloggers, citizen journalists, and social networks are implicated in the massive changes confronting journalism.

Through a combination of local newsroom fieldwork, social-network analysis, and online archival research, Rebuilding the News places the current shifts in news production in socio-historical context. Focusing on the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia  Daily News, Anderson presents a gripping case study of how these papers have struggled to adapt to emerging economic, social, and technological realities.

As he explores the organizational, networked culture of journalism, Anderson lays bare questions about the future of news-oriented media and its evolving relationship with “the public” in the digital age.


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